how to: hem a circle skirt

Hey, y’all! First things first, you’ll have to pardon my radio silence this week. Ty and I went to Oklahoma last weekend, so my usual weekend catch-up/photography/blog writing days were spent on the road. I’ve got a quick post for you today, and then lots and lots of fun things coming up next week and into October. I’ve finished a number of fall projects, so I’m really excited to show you what I’ve been working on.

Last week, I showed you how to level a hem on a circle skirt (or a skirt in a delicate fabric). To kind of bring everything full circle (ha!), I thought it would be a good idea to show you how to hem this type of skirt. Every once in a while I’ll get asked about this, and it’s one of the easiest things to do. For this project you’ll need your skirt that has been leveled, an iron, a hem gauge, and thread.

If you’re sewing a full or circle skirt, there’s no need for a deep hem. I happen to love the look of a deep hem on a lot of things, but it’s unnecessary on a circle skirt. If you want to spend the extra time and effort on a hem facing, go for it. It would be fantastic if you’re working on an evening gown or a couture piece, but for our purposes, you don’t need more than 3/4″ for the hem. Remember that the sweep of a full skirt can be quite significant, so you don’t want to make things more difficult for yourself if you don’t have to.

This hem is completed in three easy steps: turn up 3/8″, turn up 3/8″ again, and stitch. Some people turn up 1/4″ or an 1/8″ and then 3/8″ or more. None of these methods are wrong, I just happen to like mine better. Plus, I’ve been doing it for so long and hemmed hundreds of these types of skirts, so I could probably do it with my eyes closed at this point. Maybe that’s a stretch, but I digress.

Step 1: With the wrong side of your garment facing up on your ironing board, turn up and press 3/8″, all the way around.

hemcircle1

how to: level a hem

Isn’t it funny how quickly people can dismiss sewing as “easy” or “old fashioned”? I used to get really, really bothered when someone would say they didn’t know sewing was “a thing” anymore or assume that because I knew how to sew that I also spent my spare time in a dark basement somewhere churning butter or washing clothes on a washboard. Because that goes together? At any rate, I don’t care anymore. Sewing is a serious skill, and there’s a lot more that goes into it than people realize.

Back in the day, before all the sewing hours and experience had really added up, I was a little intimidated by hemming things. How do I do it? Is it done by hand? How much does one hem something, anyway? Turns out, just like everything else, there’s tons of different ways to do things and different projects call for different hems.

Have you ever noticed a dress or a skirt in a store with a funny looking hem? Uneven or longer in some spots? I have, and I even bought one once because it was linen and floral and pretty and I had to have it. I also knew it was an easy fix.

how to: draft a circle skirt pattern

One of the most popular pieces I sold when I was in business was a tulle skirt I’d named “Emma,” and it also happened to be a personal favorite of mine. I first designed it for myself, never thinking I would add it to my collection. I was looking for a tulle skirt, but I wanted something good quality and very, very big and fluffy. You can find tulle skirts that are okay quality but the fluffy and pretty part is lacking. I get it: every layer, every stitch costs money. I know how that goes. The good thing is that tulle is pretty inexpensive, and a little effort keeps the construction quality on the up and up. And, making one yourself really puts you in control. You can make it as full or as delicate as you like.

But before we can talk about how to make this skirt and where to get all the materials, we have to talk about drafting the pattern. Once you know how to draft a circle skirt pattern, you can use it for any number of other styles too, which is great. Quick note: this pattern is for woven fabrics only, and we’ll be adding a zipper.

emmawhitelive