Gettin My Fix

I know exactly what you’re thinking. That skirt….again. I know. I just couldn’t leave the dumb thing alone. I was wearing it just a few days ago and feeling absolutely, completely dissatisfied. I kept thinking things like, ” boy, I really fouled this thing up” and “I thought I was good at sewing” and “where did I go wrong?” Kind of felt like I was talking to my own kid, you know. After I had had just about enough of that, I decided to march myself right home, take off that skirt and get to fixin. I aided my thought processes along the way by cheering myself into thinking things like “I can do this” and “its not so bad, I’m sure I can fix it” and “I am a great seamstress, just you wait. Skirt, you do not have the best of me yet.”

On Monday, I mentioned what I didn’t love about the skirt. The biggest offender was that dratted hem and the lining issue. So today, you’re in for it, because I’ve got another petersham tutorial. I’m not going to tell you what I did on the original hem. Oh, it’s just so lame, I just can’t. But I will tell you that I did try horsehair braid to start with. Now, I love horsehair braid. LOVE it! I put it in my circle skirt and it’s brilliant. But on a half circle skirt, well at least on me, it looked kind of weird. I don’t know. It was bulging out in all the wrong places and it was just too stiff. So I had tried that. Didn’t work. After coming home on Tuesday and feeling like a failure at a simple skirt, I remembered that you can use petersham in hems. I mean, I was going to show this tutorial anyway, but now you get it a whole bunch sooner because it was absolutely necessary to put it in this skirt. Let’s get on with it then and I’ll show you what I mean.

Step 1 Measure your skirt hem and find out just how much petersham you’ll need. I used about 3 1/4 yards for this skirt. And here, I’m using the 3/4″ cream petersham from the shop. You’ll find that this type of hem treatment is especially good for a-line and circle-ish skirts as it kind of, almost, does the same thing as horsehair braid. It’s not so stiff though and works nice when you need a little more body and less rigidity.

Step 2 Next you need to thoroughly wet the petersham with warm-ish water. I just run mine under the tap… Dry with a towel and go turn on your iron. When your iron is nice and piping hot you’re going to press the petersham. Now, you’re not just going to press it willy nilly. No, you’ve got to take your little hand along one edge of the petersham and pull that edge (pull hard) as you press down with the iron (steam’s real nice here too) with your other hand. Do it in a sort of circular shape like the photo below. You’re going to do that for the entire length of the petersham. If that’s not sweat shop labor, I just don’t know what is. Phew…

What you end up with is one edge that starts to curl a little from being pulled along one edge. It’s kind of neat actually. Kind of like magic, and we’re all into that around here, right? Yup.

Step 3 Now we need to add the petersham to the skirt hem. You’ll apply the lettuce like wavy edge (the one you just pulled) to the skirt. Pin it to the right side of the fabric, stitch it, and you know, do your thing. Once you’re done with that, you’re going to flip the petersham up into the hemline. Pin that in place and topstitch or slipstitch into place. Give all that a good press and just like that You. Are. Done.

And just behold the “fixed” skirt. Isn’t it a lovely? Oh dear! You can’t even believe how thrilled I am to wear it again. Oh, and I also fixed the lining too. I think I was even more unhappy with that than the original hem treatment. I shortened it just a little more than normal as, like I’ve stated before, I cut the lining on the straight grain and the skirt on the bias. But then I added those wonderful attacher thingies. I have no idea what their real name is (but if you do, leave it in the comments). There is a rhyme to their madness, I must admit. I mean, I know you can just attach serged thread, but I went fancy and did them by hand. I attached them to the side and the front seam allowances and low and behold! they keep the lining from peeking out when you sit down. I know. You’re way impressed. He. he. he.

Thanks for tuning it in here. Everything is all better now and very much as it should be. I might even wear the skirt to bed just to show it how much I love it. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ May all your flops magically fix, real soon.



15 thoughts on “Gettin My Fix

  1. very nice! i had a similar experience this week where i spent an entire day fixing a skirt i probably wouldn’t have worn otherwise! hate having to fix something but it feels so good once it’s done! i like the petersham hem treatment, i did basically the exact same thing except with bias tape. love your plaid skirt! 🙂

  2. I think that the actual term is a french tack. I read about them here.

    I have some nicer boutique RTW that have them and I always appreciate them. I have yet to put any in my garments though because I have been stumped about how to make them. I came across that link the other day and I was so happy to know how to make them now!

    The skirt looks awesome! I hate feeling like one of my garments didn’t come out like I wanted. Especially when I invested a good bit of money with nice fabric and such. I am so happy you were able to fix your hem and are happy with it now! Have fun wearing it!

  3. It’s amazing what a simple redo will do! 😀 Of course, I knew you could do it–I think sometimes it’s the fixer-projects that make us better seamstresses. 😉 Will have to add the Petersham ribbon hem to my list of things to try this winter! 🙂 (I have plenty of skirts I’m itching to make… 😉

  4. Nice job on the re-finishing of your skirt. It is always so worth it to go back and redo if it’s fabric that you love.
    I’ve always heard and used the term “swing tacks” , and yes, they are perfect when chained off by the serger. I’ve done them in thread and loops, but they take way longer and do the same job.

  5. Excellent job, there’s nothing worse than being disappointed in something you’ve created! I have recently made the Lonsdale and thought it would make a great skirt too and you have proved it!

  6. Story of my life, redoing something until it’s just so! Just stayed up until 3 am making a simple pencil skirt because I’d fudged it up a teensy bit. Oi vey! Depending on how you constructed them, they’re called thread chains (like a crochet daisy chain done with your hands) or French tacks (blanket stitch done over strands of thread) 🙂

  7. Sunni, I heart you and I am not a hearty-ish kind of girl. I have a linen full-skirted dress that needs a hem treatment and has been sad and lonely in my closet for more than a year, waiting for a fix that never came. I think that fix is on the way…..

  8. Could one do this with seam binding? It’s thinner and has less body, but the petersham I have right now is too thick to use on a hem… Thanks for any feedback.

    1. Well, you can hem with seam binding, but in this case I stretched the petersham along one side as I pressed it dry. I haven’t tried this with seam binding (the rayon variety) and am not sure that it would stretch along one side, however, its definitely worth a try. Just test out a section of the seam binding to see if it stretches as you press it dry.

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