Adding a Banded Hem to a Dress

For my Little Miss' Easter dress I decided to add a band at the bottom of the dress instead of doing a regular hem.  Why you might ask? First, because this way I don't have to "hem" the bottom in the traditional way.  Second, it gives the dress more character (in my opinion) when you add a contrasting fabric to the design.  

A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length

So today for day 3 of the Firecracker Dress and Tunic  sew-a-long, let me show you how you can add a band, really to any dress pattern.

Step 1
First you'll want to measure and cut your skirt pieces.  Decide how thick of a band you want and minus that amount from your skirt.  Otherwise, your dress may be way longer then you expected.  Now, stitch down the sides of your skirt pieces.
Sewing fabric together to make a skirt


Step 2
Cut 2 band pieces.  Both the same width as your skirt and DOUBLE the length that you want to add to the skirt.  So if you want to add 3", you'll cut the band 6" in length.
A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length


Step 3
Stitch the two bands together down the short side seams.
A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length

Step 4
Fold the band in half lengthwise with wrong sides together.  Press it well.  You should now have a long side with both raw edges and one that is folded.


A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length

Step 5
With Right Sides Together (RST), place your band over the bottom edge of the skirt.  Match the raw edges of the band to the raw edges of the skirt.  Pin in place about ever 2-3 inches.  Stitch the bottom edge of the skirt and band together.  


A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length

Step 6
Finally, turn your band down and press well.  Then topstitch around the skirt to keep the raw edges of the band in place.
A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length

Voila!!  Your skirt now has a fun contrasting band.  This is a really great way to add color, character and just fun to your dress or tunic.  Plus, you didn't have to do a traditional hem to the skirt which can be a bonus.


A banded hem sewn to bottom of dress for length


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