Style · Thrifts

Backyard Dress (and a Super Easy Way to Make a Hem)

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Ours was busy but lots of fun!

Today, I’m back with another red project.

I picked up this dress at the thrift store a few weeks ago for $2. I have been on the hunt for cute, breezy,cotton summer dresses. And while I know it is technically a house dress, it did not appear to have ever been worn at all, house or elsewhere.


This is the label. If you are much of a thrift/vintage shopper, you know the labels can be just as fabulous as the pieces.


This is what it looked like when I brought it home. Husband came in while I was snapping before photos in the mirror.

Husband: Is that a house dress?

Me: Yes, yes it is.

Husband: Hmm.

Me: It’s not in its final version. I’ve got plans for this dress.

Husband: Good.

Me: But would you go out with me if I wore this dress, after I fix it up?

Husband: Of course. I would totally go out in the backyard and sit in the swing with you if you wore that dress.


All this dress really needed was a shorter hemline – about 6 inches shorter.


I used chalk and a yard stick to mark fold lines for the new hem. I just put the yard stick where I want the new hem, then I trace on the other side of the stick. Then I move the stick down to the second chalk line and make a third line on the other side of the stick.


This is a super easy way to make a hem for a dress or skirt – it makes a hem that’s the width of the yard stick, which is just over an inch. It also works well for curtain hems.


Iron, pin, iron, and sew. The whole thing took about 5 minutes.




I’ve already worn it twice.


And not just in my swing in the backyard.

Hope you have a great day – thanks for reading! 


6 thoughts on “Backyard Dress (and a Super Easy Way to Make a Hem)

  1. I have been sewing for 60 years and I have a collection of strips of cardboard of different widths from 1/2 inch to 3 inches that I use for measuring hems. You are right, that is an easy way to turn up a hem, but I didn’t come with that idea until very late in my sewing career. My guess is that the width of a yard stick will work for most projects.

    1. Different widths of cardboard – such a great idea! I will definitely be using that the next time I need to make a narrower hem.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s