It really is a disease. I cannot stop hemming dresses! A few inches off the bottom hem of a dress just makes such a big difference on how they look on me. I'm not tiny at 5'4", but the more dresses I hem, the more I realize that shortening a dress to just below or above my knee not only makes my legs look longer, but is a great way to modernize a vintage dress without a ton of alteration. And I really do my best to keep the original hem intact and not cut any length off to preserve the original fit of the dress in some way.
Here are two of the dresses I worked on this weekend. (sorry, I am a bad blogger and did not take "before" pictures, you just get the "afters"):
This cotton day dress is new. I just bought it at Ragpickers a month or so ago. It needed some love. There were a number of split seams, so I got it for a song. I just couldn't resist the colour and the pintucks on this dress. And hemming was easy peasy! I just rolled up the original hem, pressed it and hand sewed it into place.
I've had this next dress for a few years. This one is from Vintage Glory. I've only worn it once or twice. Mostly due to the fact that the skirt was so long on my it was only a few inches from skimming my ankles. It is definitely a late 40's, New Look dress. The darker cranberry colour is so 40's, it's got a centre back metal zipper, but the fullness of the skirt makes this dress a 1948-50 style for sure. I just love it!
This dress has pockets! I've said it before and I'll say it again: Nothing is better than pockets on a dress!!
I have always wanted to shorten the skirt, but didn't want to mess with it too much because of it's age. Hemming some dresses this summer has changed my mind about that. I bought it to wear it and I did't like to because of the length of the skirt. I felt like I was drowning in fabric. It's mine and I will do what I want with it. It's not like I'm cutting the whole thing up. I did cut 4 inches off the hem of this dress though. I did leave a 2 1/2" hem allowance if I feel like lengthening it in the future.
I've got a nice chunk of fabric left from the hem of this dress, I shortened it a total of 6 1/2"! I'm considering making a matching belt since it was missing the original when I bought it. Any tips?
Now that I've hemmed it I couldn't be happier with the results. I love how it turned out!
I also worked on this dress this weekend and have another one on the go right now. Stay Tuned for pics of those too!