Thursday, January 5, 2012

DIY Style: Simple Hem Jobs

I know we've all, at some point in our fashion-minded lives, needed something hemmed! Whether it's a fab thrift find or a pricier goody, garments are often not ready-to-wear, at least not on my short frame. Sewing is not the daunting task some people think it is - it's actually quite easy, especially if you already own a sewing machine, plus it's money-saving. Here, I will show you my basic method for hemming these $5 each thrifted skirts via machine. You can also do this with hand-sewing, or even using iron-on fabric tape.

I originally bought these skirts in October with the intention of making them into Fall minis, but alas, time slipped away and it didn't happen. I'm starting out the new year by crossing some projects off my to-do list!

Step 1
Determine the length of the skirt and simply cut off the excess. I cut the linings approximately one inch shorter. Note: the red skirt originally had a back vent, but the length I wanted was above the vent, so I just cut that part off. It became a non-issue.

Step 2 
Next, I serged the raw edge of the skirts. This is totally optional, as most people don't own sergers. You could also choose an overlock stitch if your regular sewing machine has that option. Lastly, you can always turn under the raw edge at 1/2 inch, then turn the hem under again at whatever length you'd like. Just remember to account for that extra 1/2 inch when cutting off the hem. Note: I already had black thread in my serger and chose not to re-thread the machine with red thread for the red skirt because I didn't want to take the time required for that.

Step 3
Pressing garments should never be deleted when sewing - this is what gives seams professional quality finishes! Here, I'm turning the lining raw edge under about 1/2 inch and pressing. Then, I'm turning it under again, about 1/2 inch, and pressing and pinning. For the skirt fabric, I turned under approximately 1 and 1/2 inch and pressed and pinned. Please excuse my vintage 1970s ironing board. ;-)

Step 4
Now I'm running the lining through the machine with a simple straight stitch.

Step 5
This is usually a hand-sewn step. I whip-stitch the hem by picking up only 1-2 threads on the underside of the skirt, so that the thread isn't visible from the outside of the skirt.

That's all there is to it! Very simple and it really shouldn't take more than an hour to do one skirt. I hope this tutorial helps and let me know if there are any questions.


Aitana said...

i love the after ;)


Baby Budget Blog said...

I really need to invest in a sewing machine so I can hem my own clothes. I'd save so much dry cleaning money (money that could be spent on more clothes hehehe)! Thanks for the comment on my blog! :) Would you like to follow each other?

claude said...

Great work!
the after is beautiful:)


Anonymous said...

EE!! Makes me wanna pull the sewing machine out of my closet. Great work!


Jules said...

Wow- you really transformed those skirts! They're so chic and modern now!

M-J Obsessions said...

Wow..good work!!! Definitely love the after look better!!

Skinny Moonstick said...

You are very creative and talented! I also love a good thrifty find! I am amazed how you refashioned those skirts- looks very easy indeed! I still have a little pile of some thrifty finds that desperately needs to be refashioned! :)
Good luck!

Gail and Rhoda said...

Great post! I do the same thing to skirts I rescue from the back of my closet or the thrift store. ~ Rhoda

Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog said...

Thanks for this tutorial. Being short, almost everything needs shortening but I often put it off. This makes it look pretty simple, so no more excuses for me.

Anita said...

Lovely blog.

just tututiny said...

wow, that is awesome, you transformed them completely, so creative and talented! I am a klutz when it comes to sewing!

Sarah said...

How very helpful, and they look great! Thanks for the tutorial! :)

Gillie said...

I Love the effect a simple hemming can have on a skirt, both of them looked fabulous!

xo Gillie

jas said...

you did an incredible job with these skirts!

Kim (A Very Sweet Blog) said...

Awesome job!!! They look entirely different! You worked your magic. Excellent tailoring skills. :)

Dana said...

I've done this before! People usually think it's so difficult but you make it look easy! Love the short skirt look :)

Shruti Carol said...

The shortened hemlines look fab! Thanks for sharing