Letting down a hem

I recently let down the hem on a sequinned cocktail dress.

Before making a garment longer, you need to make sure that the old hemline will not show. With sequins, there will not be a permanent crease or a wear line so all was well here.

The original hem was finished with a strip of tape. Since there was a vent at the back, the lining was caught to the hem in several places, so as well as removing the hemming stitches, I had to detach the lining from the sides of the vent.

Once let down, I used some bias tape to neaten the raw edges of the vent, then re-attached the lining. Then I was able to hand sew the new hem – just the width of the hem tape giving about 3cm extra in length. I didn't have to be as careful to make invisible stitches as on a normal hem, as the sequins hide the stitching. Just as well, as the small stitches usually used for a hand worked blind hem might not be strong enough to hold the weight of a hem containing sequins. I mitered the corner of the binding/bias tape on the underneath section of the vent, the upper side is of course an overlapping vertical 'hem'. The final step was to press the hem, very carefully from the back to avoid melting the sequins.