How To Hem A Dress: The Ultimate Guide

  • 5 min read
  • Jan 02, 2024

Greetings, Ihsanpedia Friends!

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to hem a dress. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced seamstress, knowing how to hem a dress is a valuable skill that can save you time and money. In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step process of hemming a dress, from measuring and marking to sewing and finishing. So, let’s dive in and learn the art of dress hemming!


When it comes to achieving the perfect fit and length for your dress, hemming is a crucial technique. Hemming refers to the process of shortening or altering the length of a garment, in this case, a dress. By hemming a dress, you can ensure that it falls at just the right length, flattering your figure and giving you confidence.

Before we jump into the details of how to hem a dress, let’s quickly go over the basic tools you’ll need for this project. These include a measuring tape, pins, fabric marker or chalk, sharp scissors, an iron, sewing machine (or needle and thread), and matching thread.

Now, let’s explore the step-by-step process of hemming a dress:

1. Prepare Your Dress

The first step in hemming a dress is to prepare it by washing and ironing it. This ensures that the fabric is clean and free of any wrinkles or creases, making it easier to work with. If your dress is made of delicate or special fabric, be sure to check the care instructions before washing.

2. Measure and Mark

Next, you’ll need to measure and mark the desired length of your dress. Put on the dress and stand in front of a full-length mirror. Use a measuring tape to determine the length you want the dress to be, and mark it with pins or fabric marker. Make sure to measure from the highest point of the neckline or shoulder to the desired hemline.

It’s important to note that different dress styles may require different hem lengths. For example, a casual sundress may be shorter, while a formal evening gown may require a longer hem. Take your time to decide on the most flattering length for your dress.

3. Prepare the Hem

After marking the desired length, it’s time to prepare the hem. Start by turning the dress inside out and folding the fabric up to the marked line. Use pins to secure the folded fabric in place, making sure the hem is even and smooth all around the dress. Be careful not to stretch or distort the fabric while pinning.

4. Sew the Hem

Once the hem is pinned in place, it’s time to sew it. If you’re using a sewing machine, set it to a straight stitch and sew along the folded edge of the fabric, removing the pins as you go. If you’re sewing by hand, use a basic running stitch or a blind hem stitch to secure the fold. Make sure to sew as close to the edge as possible for an invisible hem.

5. Try it On

After sewing the hem, turn the dress right side out and try it on. Check the length to ensure it falls at the desired level. If you’re happy with the result, congratulations! You have successfully hemmed your dress. If the length needs further adjustment, make the necessary alterations and repeat the sewing process.

6. Finishing Touches

Once you are satisfied with the hem length, it’s time to give your dress some finishing touches. Use an iron to press the hem and any remaining wrinkles. This will give your dress a polished look and help the hem lay flat. Lastly, trim any excess fabric or loose threads for a clean finish.

7. Enjoy Your Hemmed Dress

Now that you have learned how to hem a dress, you can confidently wear your newly altered garment. Whether it’s for a special occasion or everyday wear, your hemmed dress will make you look and feel fabulous.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hemming a Dress


Hemming a dress offers several advantages:

  1. Customization: Hemming allows you to adjust the length of a dress according to your preference and body shape, ensuring a perfect fit.
  2. Cost-effective: Instead of buying new dresses, hemming gives you the opportunity to revamp your existing wardrobe without breaking the bank.
  3. Personal style: By hemming a dress, you can create unique and personalized looks that reflect your individual style.
  4. Professional finish: A well-executed hem can elevate the overall appearance of a dress, giving it a polished and professional finish.


While hemming a dress has its advantages, there are a few disadvantages to consider:

  1. Time-consuming: Hemming a dress requires time and patience, especially if you’re new to sewing or working with delicate fabrics.
  2. Mistakes: There is always a risk of making mistakes or miscalculations during the hemming process, which can result in an uneven or crooked hem.
  3. Alteration limitations: Depending on the dress style and fabric, there may be limitations to how much the length can be altered without affecting the overall design or structure.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Question Answer
1. Can I hem a dress that has a lining? Yes, you can hem a dress with a lining. Simply follow the same steps as mentioned earlier, but make sure to hem both the outer fabric and lining separately.
2. What is the ideal hem length for a midi dress? The ideal hem length for a midi dress is usually around mid-calf or just below the knee. However, it ultimately depends on your personal preference and the style of the dress.
3. Can I use fabric glue instead of sewing? Fabric glue can be used as a temporary solution, but it is not recommended for a permanent hem. Sewing provides a stronger and more durable finish.
4. How do I hem a dress with a curved hemline? Hemming a dress with a curved hemline requires extra care and precision. Use small, even stitches and ease the fabric as needed to maintain the smooth curve.
5. Can I hem a dress without a sewing machine? Yes, you can hem a dress without a sewing machine by using hand sewing techniques such as the running stitch or blind hem stitch.
6. How can I prevent the fabric from fraying? To prevent fabric from fraying, you can use a serger or overlock stitch on a sewing machine or apply a fabric fray preventer solution along the raw edge.
7. Can I hem a dress made of delicate fabric? Yes, you can hem a dress made of delicate fabric. Use a fine needle, lightweight thread, and delicate stitches to minimize any damage to the fabric.
8. Should I wash the dress again after hemming? It is not necessary to wash the dress again after hemming unless the fabric requires special care or if it has become dirty during the hemming process.
9. How do I fix an uneven hem? If you end up with an uneven hem, carefully remove the stitches on the longer side and re-pin and sew to match the desired length.
10. Can I hem a dress with a decorative or scalloped edge? Hemming a dress with a decorative or scalloped edge requires extra attention to detail. It may be best to consult a professional or experienced seamstress for guidance.
11. Can I use a different color thread for the hem? Using a different color thread for the hem can create a unique and decorative effect. However, it’s important to ensure that the thread complements the dress fabric.
12. Can I hem a dress without cutting the fabric? Hemming a dress without cutting the fabric is possible by using techniques such as a blind stitch or a rolled hem.