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How to weight a Hem

aylaray | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hello, all. 


In a few months my daughter will be getting baptised.  I want to make a dress for her to wear into the water, but I dont want the hem to float to the top.  Can anyone give me suggestions on how to weigh the hem down so that it doesnt float?  Thanks!


  1. sewchris703 | | #1

    Drapery chain?


  2. damascusannie | | #2

    This may sound a bit off the wall, but to be doubly-safe, make her a chemise and bloomers to wear under the dress as well. Better safe than sorry.

  3. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #3

    I agree with the bloomers. You can make tiny sacks of scrap fabric and and put a coin or washer in them and stitch them to the seam allowances. Be advised that some washers will rust and damage the dress.

  4. jatman | | #4

    Hi Aylaray,

    I remember (eons ago) when I got baptized I wore sort of a choir robe type thing that the church provided.  The pastor warned us that the first few steps into the water the hem would sit on top of the water but that it would sink down into the water pretty quickly after the first couple of steps.  He was right - but I was happy to have had that warning.  I think the robe only had a folded over hem (and by folded over I believe it was folded about 3 or 4 times to make it heavy).  Once it sopped up the water it sunk like a stone.  I'm not sure what kind of fabric you're using but you'll also want to make sure not to dry it using fabric sheets as the sheets sort of make fabrics slightly water repellent and that won't help the fabric to sink down into the water.


  5. starzoe | | #5

    Large metal washers can be sewn into the hem - or just attached temporarily.....if hubby is a handyman and has a stash.

  6. Teaf5 | | #6

    Instead of a metal drapery hem chain, try those lovely "pearls by the yard" sold in the bead/craft section of the fabric store in a small canister. For a few dollars, you get a few yards of plastic beads on a string that you can cut to length; the plastic won't rust and won't be terribly heavy once wet, either. Plus, when the fabric is wet, the beautiful beads will show through the gown hem and add a beautiful touch of embellishment.

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #7

      Teaf, you are brilliant!  Will have to make note of that for future reference.  Cathy

    2. aylaray | | #8


      1. Josefly | | #9

        I love the idea of the beads. Just make sure the beads don't themselves float. I just tested a string of plastic beads, and they didn't readily sink - I had to force them down, but they stayed down once pushed.

      2. mygaley | | #10

        If her dress is white or some other light color, be sure to check for show-through when it's wet. Once I used fishing weights and safety pins to hold a darling girl's dress down.

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