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Today we're going to learn how to take up a skirt. This is probably the first thing I learnt when it comes to altering clothes and I think it might be the thing I use most often because it can instantly modernise a dress. So let's get to it!

First of all put your dress on and decide where you want your new hem to be. Personally my marker is a hand width above the knee, but that's just me. Using pins or chalk mark where you want your hem to be and double check that this looks good (raising your arms is a good test to see whether you're making your dress too short!).

Turn your dress inside out. Fold the existing hem up until you reach your markers and pin. At this point if you turn your dress right-way-round again your should have the hem length you marked up so this is another good time to double check for length. Once you are happy press with an iron.

Now trim off all the excess fabric away from your hem. You will need about three inches below your ironed hemline in order to fold over (as shown above).

Now you need to conceal that edge so turn your excess fabric under itself and then press. You should end up with a lovely edge like this on the wrong side.
To demonstrate how to do a hem stitch I have made this shockingly detailed diagram in paint.
1. Start with your skirt inside out so your folded over hem is showing. Pass the needle under the hem and push it out halfway through the middle.
2. Pull your stitch through. Now pass your needle through one or two threads of your skirt fabric. This is so the stitch will not show on the other side. Once pulled through you should have created a diagonal stitch.
3. Now repeat step one.
4. And so on and so on. You stitch should look like this!

Or if you prefer more of a realistic approach your hem should look like this. Give it a final press and you're done! In the next part we'll tackle changing a neckline.
You can read PART 1 (assessing vintage clothes) here.

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