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Are you watching the new series of GBSB? Love Esme, the new judge!

In the first episode, many of the skirts in the final round were marked down for having uneven hems. I sympathise!

A little while ago I made the dresses for my daughter’s bridesmaids.  The younger ones (three of them!) had full circle skirts with a chiffon overlay and so I got loads of experience hemming and working with slippery fabric.

The secret to an even hem on a circle skirt is to hang it for a good 24 hours before marking the level. Obviously the GBSB contestants don’t have that luxury!

The hem ends up uneven because, although the CB & CF are usually cut on the straight grain, the side seams are on the cross-grain and everywhere else is on the bias which has natural stretch.  The poor fabric doesn’t know if it’s coming or going!

full circle skirtYou can see from the white heads of my pins just how unevenly the skirt dropped.  Although it’s pinned up out of the way in the pic, the chiffon overlay is even more wiggly-woggly.  I was really surprised by that.  I’d imagined that, being more lightweight, it wouldn’t have dropped as much.  Maybe it’s just naturally more unstable or something?

Anyway, to get the hem level I measured the finished length down from the waist first at the CB & CF, then the sides and then points in between.  I did this while it was still hanging up.

dress hemI didn’t add any hem allowance because I was going to do a rolled hem on the overlocker, but I wouldn’t add more than 1/2 inch (or 12mm) if I was going to hem it on the sewing machine.

bridesmaid dress

Tah – dah! The finished dress 🙂