Hemming a Wedding Gown

The Vera Wang wedding gown was simply elegant. No lace, beading, appliques or sequins, just a beautiful champagne satin and the dress fit the bride perfectly! The bride was very short and the dress was way too long.

When she phoned, she said, “I think it just needs to be hemmed.”

Well, it certainly sounded simple enough. When she arrived for her fitting I discovered the dress had over ten layers of tulle and netting underneath the “simple” outer layer. There was no train to deal with and six inches needed to be taken off the bottom.

After the client left, I started marking the hem with tailor’s chalk and I had a “golden sewing moment”. Don’t you just love it when these happen? Suddenly you think of a faster or better way to do something. Usually these gems come to me in the wee hours of the morning or in the middle of the night. Fortunately, this one happened as I was marking the hem.

I took the dress over to my serger. I removed the needles and thread, then checked to see if the blade was sharp. I made a vertical slice from the bottom of the hem to the mark of the new hem. Then, I placed this edge up against the blade. I used a piece of electrical tape and placed it on the serger – six inches from the blade to use as a guide. This “cutting method” is much faster than marking and cutting with a rotary cutter.

All the layers came out perfectly even and straight and I was thrilled at how FAST this hem went. You can use your serger for more than just serging! Think of it as a cutting machine as well.

After all the layers were cut, I finished the outer layer with a tiny rolled hem. I serge-finished the inside layers of tulle and netting with a soft thread. This keeps the tulle and netting from snagging or cutting the bride’s hose when she is walking or dancing.

From the six inches of fabric that was cut off the hem, I made a small envelope pillow with a snap and little bow. Inside, I placed a couple of my business cards. When someone comments on her beautiful dress and inquires about a dressmaker – she can simply hand them my card. The bride could use this to hold a ring, tissue or lipstick.

In addition to providing exceptional customer service and quality workmanship, these little “extras” are what make
the client remember you.

Do you have a product or a topic that you would like to see discussed in this Wild Women Who Sew column? Just email me with your topics or questions.

Anita, a Wild Woman Who Sews
Wild Women Who Sew is a monthly column at Fabrics.net

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