I can’t believe it’s the final step! Phew, a lot of photo taking has been done 🙂 So today we’re finishing the hem, and the sleeves. It’s actually exactly the same steps as we used for the wrap edges, so this should go fast.
Ideally, you should hang up your dress for a day or so on a dress form or hanger to let the fabric naturally relax before hemming. That said… I often don’t. Rebel! But if you can, you should, because knit fabrics often stretch out a bit over time and can become uneven after wearing. By hanging it first you can avoid that.
That done, try it on, and mark the hem so it’s an even height from the ground all away around. If you have bodacious bust or bum, there’s a decent chance it’s quite wonky now at the hem even though your pattern pieces were even – your body is holding up the fabric at different heights. To even out the hem, you can either get someone to help you, use this clever chalk marking method (it involves a door and some string), use a special hem marker (I just got one on Etsy and it’s amazing!), or, at the last resort, pin it yourself and keep on standing up, looking in the mirror, and re-pinning (realistically, that’s what most of us do!). Once you’ve marked the hem, chalk a line about an inch down and cut off any excess. Then, fuse knit stay tape to the hem – at this point, 1 1/4 tape is actually really great rather than the thinner type.
At this point, the eagle-eyed among you will notice that I made two errors. Oops! First of all: I forgot to put the stay tape on and didn’t notice until it was all done. Second of all: I cut too much excess off, so my hem is too small…. Just goes to show that even practice doesn’t make perfect!
Right, now you’re all marked up, serge the edge if you’re using a serger.
Fold up and press (this is where YOU should do an inch, but I did more like 1/2 inch)
Again, at the junctions, clip into the seam allowance and push different ways to minimise the bulk at the seams)
Wonder tape that baby
And sew! Same as before: use a coverstitch machine or a twin-needle on your sewing machine, and sew from the right side.
Finally, repeat the exact same process above for your sleeves. When you’re sewing, go really slowly because you will need to keep on shifting the sleeve fabric in order to feed it through straight. Another option for next time is that you can do this *before* you sew the side seam up which is less tricky to sew, but does mean you have a bit of a “bump” in the eventual sleeve hem, so for that reason most people do it this way instead.
Wait for it…
YOU’RE DONE! WOOP! Tomorrow my wrap dress will be revealed, and I’ll share the details of the contest and the fabulous prizes!