Monday, March 4, 2013

Make-it-Monday: Hemming (No Hawing)

Hello, my lovelies! Did everyone have a good week? I missed you all, but I can see that Mandi kept you entertained while I was away - thanks, Roomie!

Sometimes, you just need a vacation. Mine was only mental (have to hold down the fort; can't go running off to the beach or anything) but it was very nice.

Since my last post, two of my favorite bloggers came through Atlanta and hosted events at Manuel's Tavern. I got to meet Deb from smitten kitchen, and Mark from Mark Reads and Watches. More on that in the days to come.

Today, we're hemming dresses. I have two purple numbers from The Clothing Warehouse that needed a little love. First up, the prairie dress.

I cut off the bottom ruffle when I wore this for opening night, but I've yet to sew a new seam. Luckily, with my machine, it took no time at all. I just wound a bobbin full of purple thread, stuck that sucker in place, and went to town.

My prairie dress is now fully wearable, with no threat of unraveling!

The other dress required a little more creativity. It's a very stretchy material (some sort of polyester blend?) so I needed a stitch that can stretch. Well wouldn't you know it, but my sewing machine comes programmed with 27 stitches - and a few of them are stretchable! I decided to take about four inches off the length, so I cut off three.

Then I folded the bottom up a half-inch, and sewed a straight seam across the bottom.

But I wasn't done. See, this darling purple garment is full of holes - big and small. I'm pretty sure some moths had dinner on this dress. I hate the look of visible patches (especially on such a busy fabric) so that was out. What saved the day was a little product called Stitch Witchery.

It's a thin, fabricy material that comes in a spool, like ribbon. When you heat it up between two pieces of fabric, it melts and creates a permanent bond. I imagine this stuff is killer for hemming. But I also hypothesized that it could also work to fill in the gaps left in some of the larger holes. And it did.


  1. Get two pieces of cloth wet. Place one of them in your ironing board.
  2. Lay your fabric down on top of the wet cloth. Make sure the hole is on top of the wet cloth, and that the iron won't touch ANY part of the fabric that isn't wet. 
  3. Place a piece of Stitch Witchery over the hole.
  4. Lay a same-sized piece of matching fabric on top of the Stitch Witchery. Make sure to line them up well. 
  5. Place the other wet cloth on top of the patch. 
  6. Press an iron (set to wool) atop the patch for about 10 seconds. Since this dress is rayon, I found I needed a little less time - like 6 seconds.
  7. Flip the garment over, and press the other side.

This method worked really well. I hit a few snags - the washcloths needed to be rewetted a LOT, and occasionally the iron would take some of the sheen off of the fabric (boo). But overall, it was a success, and repaired all the big holes. I won't say it was quick (overall, I spent about three hours on the project), but it was effective.

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Galen! Stitch Witchery and Wonder Under are good products. I have been known to give it out to "non-sewing moms" with instructions to put whole costumes together!


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