View Full Version : Hem Guard

01-03-2007, 11:19 AM
I am assembling my 7th+ dress for reenacting and have done quite a bit of research on the assembly of the originials, however, I am having problems finding how the original hem guard and hem tape were applied. Does anyone know how or know a good article out there on that subject?

Carolann Schmitt
01-05-2007, 10:50 AM
Hem Facing:
The most common method I've found on originals:
- Place the facing against the bottom edge of the skirt with the right sides together.
- Stitch, using a narrow (1/4") seam allowance. Press.
- Turn facing to the inside.

The top of the facing may be:
- Cut in a wide (1" at the base of the 'triangle') zig-zag pattern.
- Folded to the wrong side (1/2" or less)
- Left raw.

The facing is invariably sewn to the skirt with a short even or uneven running stitch.

Hem Braid:
You'll find a wider variation in methods or originals. One of the most common is to fold the braid (wool, 1/2"-5/8" wide) around the bottom of the hem and sew with a running stitch. This works well if your braid is the same weight as that from the period. Unfortunately many of the reproduction braids are slightly heavier and can be bulky when applied using this method.

Beadle's Dime Guide to Dress-Making and Millinery recommends this application:
- Place the braid against the wrong side of the bottom edge of the skirt, so that one-half the width of the braid extends beyond the bottom edge.
- Stitch using a short running stitch.
I've found this method to provide more protection than the folded braid, and it is much faster and easier to attach.

Other techniques I've found include:
- Sandwiching the braid between the fabric and facing, which requires more effort to replace it.
- Folding up the bottom of the skirt approximately 1"; attaching the braid (folded or flat), then felling the bottom of the facing over top of it (also more effort to attach and replace).
- Hemming the skirt (no facing), then attaching the braid.
- Hemming the skirt - no facing or braid.