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Hemming a train

khart0084 | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hey all!

What’s the best method to hem a dress with a train?


  1. moira | | #1

    When I've had this to deal with I've incorporated a lining that exactly matches the pattern pieces of the fashion fabric, but have left a section, maybe a foot or so, of one seam in the lining unstitched.. When marking the hem, I'm marking both fabrics together and trimming them exactly in line with each other on a line which is the hem length plus a seam allowance, but then I trim 1/4 inch off the lining all the way round. Next, I turn up the hems at one point and pin them with the seam allowances tucked to the inside, just an inch or so of the hem.Now, back to the open section of the lining seam: I go in through this opening and turn the whole dress inside out, and then find where I've begun the hem pinning. Now that I'm sure things are in the right places I continue to pin the whole hem, right sides together, and then stitch it on the finishing line. Usually I then understitch this, stitching the seam allowance to the lining very close to the seam.And back again to the open seam, so as to turn the whole thing right sides out again, handstitch the seam and press the hem. The slight difference in the lining length means the hem seam will be ever so slightly to the inside, leaving a nice smooth finished hem on the outside.One last, but important, tip - allow that the excess fabric before trimming the hem may be weighing it down slightly; you don't want to cut it off as this method requires and then find the hem rises due to having lost some of its weight. So you might add an extra half inch or so on if that seems likely.I hope this is clear and not too elementary - I don't know where you're coming from in terms of sewing experience, but it's a hemming method that works well for me! There's no bulk to deal with or pinch in and no handstitching at the finished edge.

    Edited 11/10/2008 6:22 pm ET by moira

  2. Ocrafty1 | | #2

    Are you hemming the whole gown, or altering a RTW? If you are making the whole gown the info you got in the other reply is great!

    If you are altering a RTW, you only shorten the front between the side seams. The legnth should be left from the side seams onto the train. You find the legnth that you need directly in the front for about 12-15 in., then taper the rest to the legnth of the side seams.  I usually measure 2" above the floor (with her shoes on) and carry that across the front for about 15", then taper it to the side seams. This way the bride doesn't trip or step on her gown as she walks.

    Hope this helps. Keep us posted...and Good Luck!


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