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How to Hem a Skirt

Hemlines change with the seasons, so keep your clothes current by raising or lowering your skirt length.


  • Step 1: Let hem out Let the existing hem out of your skirt with scissors or a seam ripper.
  • Step 2: Determine new hemline Try on your skirt and have a friend pin it at the new hemline.
  • Step 3: Fold skirt to new hemline Take the skirt off, turn it inside out, and, on your ironing board, fold it up to the pin or new hemline.
  • Step 4: Iron in new hemline Measure from the pin to the edge of the skirt. Use that same measurement to adjust the fold all the way around. Iron to create a crease.
  • Step 5: Pin new hemline Fold the hem allowance so the raw edge is tucked in. For a more finished look, iron again, and pin in place.
  • TIP: Use fabric tape instead of pins to tack up the hem. This tape holds the material in place while you sew but dissolves in the first wash.
  • Step 6: Sew new hemline Pick a matching thread color and start sewing at the seam. Use a loop stitch that doesn’t go all the way through to the skirt face for a blind hem.
  • TIP: Don’t pull the thread too tightly or your hem will pucker.
  • Step 7: Try skirt on Try your skirt on to make sure the new hem is hitting your leg right where you want it.
  • FACT: Your hemline may be determined by the economy. Historical trends show hemlines head south in bad times and come up in good ones.

You Will Need

  • A skirt
  • Scissors or a seam ripper
  • A friend
  • Pins
  • An ironing board
  • Measuring tape
  • An iron
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Fabric tape (optional) (optional) (optional) (optional)

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