The Hemline Dilemma

Before addressing the hemline dilemma, I had to share the twirly dress being modeled. Clearly the dress was a HUGE hit! I could hardly get a picture without a significant twirl!

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She was quite enthusiastic about the twirliness (is that even a word?) of the dress.

Now, on to the hemline dilemma…..


These sweet dresses were published in the Australian Smocking and Embroidery magazine, Issue #95.  When I got the raspberry dress out of the closet for little Ms. Livvy to wear, I discovered that there were spots on the back of the dress that I could not get out.  They were too noticeable to ignore, so I whacked off the bottom 1/3 of the dress.  Hmmm……what now?  While I could have left it short and had it be worn as a top, that wasn’t what I wanted.

After a week or so of mulling over this situation, I took a dive into the massive fabric stash and found the same micro-check gingham in turquoise as well as lime green.  Perfect!  I added two bands of the complimentary fabric.  Viewing the newly created dress, it appeared to look very “home-made-ish”.  Not the look I was going for.  I wanted something clean looking that would compliment the smocking and not distract from it.  Though I’m not the most proficient at hand embroidery, I took a stab at doing a chain stitch over the seam lines.  It’s not perfect, but it was just the look I was going for.  Perfect enough for me!

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This treatment would work equally well for adding length to a dress that still fits but it too short.

While I’m addressing hems, I thought that a few more options for hemline interest could be shown here.

A tuck with a contrast scalloped hem.  The stitching line of the tuck was embellished with a running stitch.


Another tuck and contrast hem with rick rack detail.  Clearly I have a thing about gingham!  LOL!



A contrast band with either rick rack or ribbon over the seam is another option.

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There are so many different options to choose from.  Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

I can’t end this post without showing the reluctant model.  When asked to take a picture of her new dress from grandma, this was the first response.  Oh the drama of it all!!!  Hahahaha!!!!  Then the semi-reluctant pose sitting on the steps.  This is what makes sewing worthwhile!  Seeing the little girls in the clothes I’ve sewn for them is reward enough!

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Have fun with your hems!



9 thoughts on “The Hemline Dilemma

  1. Jan Moore

    Great fixes for hem dilemmas, or just to add extra sweetness! Thanks for all the ideas. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a little gingham love. I think many of us fall into that category! There are also probably more than will admit, who wish it was acceptable to express their emotions like a toddler! She is adorable in every way!

    1. Kathy Post author

      Wouldn’t we all love to be that uninhibited at times. LOL! That’s how I feel about cleaning the house!

  2. Angela Lee

    Oh my gosh! Love the drama shot. I have days that I feel just like that! Wish I could get away with it. lol The babies are all adorable, and they look beautiful in their new dresses.

  3. Linda Snyder

    Kathy, GREAT save! I think I like the dresses even better after your addition of the gingham, and like everything you do the chain stitching looks perfectly perfect to me : ). Thanks for sharing these darling little dresses, and the model couldn’t be more cute if she tried ; ). I’m sew happy you’ve decided to start a blog!!!


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