- If you’re making a hi-low hem, read our first section below. We’ll show you how to draft your hi-low hem facings and finish this type of hem.
- If you are sewing a maxi length, skip to Maxi Hems further down in the post for some pointers.
- If you’re sticking with the standard Lemon Drop pattern for your hem and length, follow the pattern instructions for all of Step 6 and we’ll see you tomorrow!
The Hi-Low Hem
The hi-low hem is a fun and trendy hem style that is traditionally higher in the front and lower in the back. My girl is wearing a hi-low hemmed tunic along with a coordinating Knot or Not Headband. Although it is a modest hi-low difference (less than 3″ between the front and back), it still appears somewhat dramatic from the side.
First, make your hem’s pattern changes per the sew-along’s Day 1 post, and now prepare hem facing pieces to finish the skirts. Again, your hi-low hem can be as dramatic or modest as you prefer, but keep in mind that the inside back hem will be visible when facing the front of the tunic/dress (you can see the back) depending on how dramatic it is. This is why we’re finishing it with a hem facing to keep it looking pretty. You can have your hem facing match your skirt fabric, or select a coordinating fabric for a bit of extra fun!
Creating the Hi-Low Hem
Creating and adding a hem facing is pretty easy. You might have already used our tutorial to create a hem facing for the Perfect A-Line Dress – the process is the same. To create the pattern needed for our front and back hem facings, you will need your front and back skirt pattern pieces. Make sure you have already cut your fabric out for the front and back skirts as we’re making changes to these pattern pieces. First, taking your front skirt pattern piece, trace a new line 2.5″ above the curved hemline (seen in blue below).
Cut on this newly traced line, mark it Hem Facing Pattern – Front, and re-mark the fold line, and this bottom portion will now become our hem facing pattern piece. Repeat this for the back skirt pattern piece too, and you will have your front and back hem facing patterns.
Cut 1 front hem facing and 1 back hem facing from your fabric on the fold as you did with your skirt pieces. Mark the facings as front and back as they can look quite similar when they’re opened up to sew! You can use chalk, low tack tape, or clip the upper edge once to mark the front and twice to mark the back. Do this before you get them mixed up!
Place your hem facing pieces right sides together, matching side seams. Sew the side seams using a 1/2″ seam allowance, then press open. You don’t need to finish this seam.
With your skirt right side out and your hem facing wrong side out, slide your hem facing up over the bottom so they are right sides together, matching side seams, and front and back curves.
Now sew around the bottom hem using a 1/2″ seam allowance, shown by the dashed line below.
Turn your skirt and hem wrong side out, and press your hem facing down away from the skirt, then press the raw hem facing edge over towards the wrong side 1/2″.
Turn your hem facing up so the skirt and hem facing are wrong sides together and press well. Pin your hem facing in place making sure to match side seams and center front and back. Sew in place using a 1/8″-1/4″ seam allowance.
You are done with your hi-low hem! You can also tape the hem facing pattern pieces back onto the skirt pattern if you want to make more of these, or trace the hem facings onto pattern paper first to keep them handy for next time.
There is just something so elegant about a maxi dress, especially when we’re attending those fancy events where our girls want to wear something special. Or you know, when we’re going to the beach and the wind will be blowing that gorgeous fabric just perfectly! When finishing your maxi Lemon Drop Dress, I would recommend trying it on your child first if you can to ensure you are happy with the length before hemming. The maxi lengths are designed to hit at the ankles.
Hemmed Maxi Dress
The hemmed maxi dress is lovely, especially in a border print. Here I used a cotton sateen fabric which is similar to sewing with quilting cotton.
The instructions for finishing the maxi hemmed dress are the same as the pattern instructions, step 6a on the bottom of page 9. I made sure to try this maxi dress on my girl before hemming though, and instead of using the full 2″ hem allowance, I decided to finish with a narrow hem to keep the dress longer per our personal preference.
Ruffle Maxi Dress
The ruffle maxi dress is so festive, and I absolutely love the way this red ruffle looks as it’s being whipped around!
We’ve added length to the ruffle per our pattern changes on Day 1 (and to the skirt pieces in the larger sizes), but I decided to highlight the bottom even more with some trim.
It is completely up to you regarding the trim, and you can even make the ruffles longer if you prefer, but remember to remove the same amount of length from the skirt portion of the pattern if you do. The instructions for finishing the maxi ruffle hem are the same as the pattern’s instructions, step 6b on page 10. I didn’t alter any length on the maxi ruffle dress, as it was perfect hitting at her ankles.
See the next post for wrapping it up, finishing our hems and adding our closures to the back.