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Hanging a skirt

Hanging a skirt

Mrs Bowden’s top tip – hanging a skirt or how to avoid wobbly hem syndrome

Many skirt and dress patterns are cut with a very full skirt which means the grainline changes around the hem. Sometimes the hemline can ‘drop’ on a skirt – particularly at the point where the hem is on the bias point (45% from the selvedge). This can become even more pronounced after a garment has been laundered for the first.


There are two ways this can be avoided…

  1. Launder your fabric before you make up the garment.
  2. Leave the garment to hand on a mannequin or hanger for at least 24 hours before levelling the hem – this allows gravity to do its work and allow any dropping to occur before you hem the garment.

Here is Butterick 6055, a little dress from the Retro range, first published in 1950.


The centre front and centre back of the skirt are cut on the bias – meaning the straight of grain for this garment is on the side seams of the skirt (forward thinking as the side seams are also supporting a rather splendid pocket).

b6055 dress            b6055 pocket

As you can see I am leaving this to ‘hang’ before levelling the hem and finishing the garment. I would suspect that any dropping is going to occur at the C/F and C/B because of the way it has been cut on the bias at these points. If you are unsure about how to level the hem please refer to my earlier top tip of employing a potato masher and ruler.

Hems should be marked from the floor up to compensate for any figure tilting (a gently way of describing a person with a protruding tummy or bottom which would make the hem uneven).

tilting hemline

One Response

  1. Maggie says:

    I was trying to make this dress but I had trouble understanding the instructions. How did you make the collar?

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