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weights for a flyaway skirt hem?

nmog | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Hi all. I am in the process of making New Look 6240 (dress with attached A-line skirt) out of a slightly stretchy satin. I was hoping to hem it today when I realized that a sudden gust of wind might leave me more flamboyant that I am hoping to be. Does anyone have any suggestions for weighting down the hem? I will be washing the dress so I don’t want to use drapery weights. I’m sure that there must be some great solutions, but I just can’t think of them!

Thanks for your help!



  1. starzoe | | #1

    I have sewn buttons into the side seams to hold a blouse or skirt down. Also, one of my summer skirts with daisies on it has shirt buttons in the centre of each - although that was mainly for adornment.

    1. nmog | | #2

      Thank you for your reply! I was wondering about using buttons. I'm sure that I could find some heavier ones in my button box. I'm assuming that flat ones are best - I would hate to see the imprints some other ones could leave on the backs of my legs!


  2. jjgg | | #3

    I tried to google the pattern so I could see what it is, Since they don't make the search by number easy, I didn't bother to find it, can you post a link?

    1. nmog | | #6

      Yes, I tried to post a link but our computer isn't working reliably. The cut and paste sectoin is giving me grief! The skirt part of the pattern is similar to Butterick 5351.


      I will see what the hem is like when I'm closer to done, and see if there is any obvious soluton then. Thanks for your reply!


  3. Tatsy | | #4

    Buttons do sound like a good idea. I was going to suggest jewelry chain, but I'm not sure that wouldn't cause the dress to wear more quickly. Even if you made a buttonhole inside the hem for ease of removal, having to reinsert the chain each time it was washed would be a great disincentive to wearing it. You could also use beads if they would go with the design you've chosen.

    1. nmog | | #7

      Yes, I was thinking of a chain as well but disregarded it for the same reasons. I might add a piece of 1/8 inch elastic in the hem to give it a bit more body and weight, too. I might just see how the dress looks when I am closer to being done. I always like to have things planned out (too) far in advance!

      Thank you for your reply.


      1. Tatsy | | #10

        What about horsehair? Would that give enough weight?

        1. nmog | | #12

          Yes, the horsehair would be a great idea, but the fabric is meant to be a bit clingy. I was wondering fi the horsehair might give it too much body. I have  a whole bunch of it that I'm eager to try out, so I might just need to do a smaple.

          Thanks for your reply!


  4. cafms | | #5

    I could not find your pattern on the New Look site on Simplicity so don't know just what it looks like.  If the hem allowance is deep enough could you add several rows of stitching to the turn up before you hem it?  Cynthia Guffey suggests doing this to add weight to a hem with out adding bulk.  Or depending on your fabric could you add an extra layer of your fabric inside the hem allowance.  Sort of like a double turn up of the hem?  I know you didn't plan this in the cutting stage so you would not have enough fabric now but maybe add some in.  Sew an extra strip to the inside of the hem and then hem it.

    1. nmog | | #8

      I never thought of that, but it sounds brilliant! I always do that for my daughter's dresses so there is extra growth room (she's almost 4), but I never thought of using that technique for a lightweight skirt.

      Thank you for your reply!


  5. jjgg | | #9

    Hi. I looked at the picture. The dress does not have a very full skirt such that I would worry about fly-away. Also, you say it is a slightly stretchy satin I think of satin as a rather heavy fabric, and having 'stretch'. makes me think there is Lycra in it that makes it less fly-away. (personally I hate the stretch wovens) but any way, if it is a stretch satin (poly or silk?). I think just a regular old 2 inch hem, nothing special whatsoever will do. If, on the other hand you are using a lightweight fabric like chameuse or a poly slippery fabric of similar weight. I would do a baby hem. That should weight it enough and not look weighted downEdited 6/15/2009 9:24 pm ET by jjgg

    Edited 6/15/2009 10:51 pm ET by jjgg

    1. User avater
      ThreadKoe | | #11

      I have to agree with Jigg. I do not think the skirt is so full that the hem flying up will be a problem. It would have to be a pretty strong wind to make it a problem. A nice separate slip or a lining in the dress would be a simple, elegant and easy solution for a swishy fabric. Cathy

      1. nmog | | #14

        A slip sounds like a great solution - thanks! I think I could Static guard against the two fabrics getting too clingy.

        Thank you.


        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #15

          If you are making a slip, make one of Bemburg rayon, or Ambiance lining. It will be non-static and luxurious to wear, and cool. Cut on the bias, it is lovely, even though it is a bit wrinkly. :) Cathy

          1. User avater
            paddyscar | | #16

            I'm stretching this from the idea of putting chain in the bottom hem of a Chanel jacket ... what about sewing a string of craft 'pearls' on the inside of the hem?  They are very inexpensive and would even look good around the outside of the hem.

          2. jjgg | | #17

            That could be a really cute idea.

          3. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #18

            I agree with Jigg, this is a really cute and practical way of keeping a hem weighted... Cathy

    2. nmog | | #13

      The fabric is a poly (?) satin that is lighter than crepe-back satin. I got it for $6/m at Fabricland in Canada. I think that I might just go outside with it (in my backyard) unhemmed on a windy-ish day and see what happens. The skirt is actually looking more full on me than on the model, though most things on me are more full than on the model..sigh!

      Thanks for the response.


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