December 21, 2015

Washington Dress sewalong: Hemming and we’re done!

Hi badgers!

A few final steps and your Washington Dress is done! Yippee!

First let’s hem those sleeves. Turn up the sleeve hem by 1 inch to the inside, and press.


Then you have a couple of options for sewing it: I used a double needle on my sewing machine, but you could also use a zigzag stitch, or a coverstitch machine. Make sure to practice a little on a scrap first as double needling can be a tricky thing to do sometimes! (Here’s a tutorial if you want to refresh your memory). One thing that makes hemming knits a lot easier is to use a bit of Stitch Witchery or Dritz Wonder Tape to secure it down first and give the fabric a little bit of stiffness temporarily.




Now, on to the skirt. First, try on your dress to make sure you like the length it’s going to be (1 inch shorter). Assuming it is, the fold and press the hem of the skirt up by 1/4 inch, and then do it again by 3/4 inch so that the raw edge is tucked inside the hem.

If you’re not keen on the length you have a little wiggle room: if it’s a little long, you can make a deeper hem or trim a bit off before you hem the skirt; if it’s a little short, you can make a smaller hem by only turning over 1/4 inch and then 1/4 inch or if you’re really in dire straights you could even add a hem facing to only lose 1/4 inch length. All Cashmerette Patterns are drafted for a woman who’s 5’6″ to give you a sense of your height relative to the design.


Now, topstitch that baby down from the right side, making sure you’re catching the hem underneath. If you are using a fancy fabric or want a more professional look, you can hand-sew the hem using a blindstitch or catch stitch instead.



AND WE ARE DONE! Hurray! Put on your dress, parade it to friends, family and strangers on the street and wait for the impressed oooh and aahs to roll in.

Now, share it with us for the Washington Dress Contest! Readers will vote for a winner in each of the following categories:

  • Best dress
  • Most creative use of fabrics – the sky is the limit!
  • Best hack – what could you turn your Washington Dress into?

The winners will each get a $50 Cashmerette Patterns gift card, which can be used towards any  pattern, fabric by the yard, fabric kit or sketchbook!

To enter the contest, do one of the following before 11.59pm EST January 30th:

  • Post a picture of your dress on Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #WashingtonDressContest (this will be your permission for us to use your photo, and allow us to find you!)
  • Email us at with one of the following: a photo of your dress; a link to your blog post, Pattern Review review, Flickr, or any other online posting.

I can’t wait to see all your dresses!

Disclosure: this post contains some affiliate links.


7 thoughts on “Washington Dress sewalong: Hemming and we’re done!

  1. carlamayfield says:

    mINE’S DONE, and although I haven’t worn it, I love it already. I did make a silly mistake: about halfway through the first sleeve, I realized that I was making a lovely twin needle stitch on the INSIDE of my sleeve! I turned it over to see if it looked terrible, and it didn’t, so I finished that sleeve, and did the other one wrong, too. I couldn’t bear the thought of unpicking that stitch on the delicate knit of my top.

    1. Congrats! And clearly you just invented a new “design feature” -well done! 🙂

    2. Elaine says:

      You could always cut it off just above the stitching. Then cut a 2 or 3″ strip of fabric the same length as the sleeve and create a cuff for your sleeves. You could even do it in a contrasting color!

      1. Carla says:

        That’s a good idea. If I decide I don’t like it I’ll do that.

  2. Susana Pourxet says:

    I’m not very keen on woven fabrics, can I use a ponte (or similar) for the skirt? TIA

    1. Yes, you can use either woven or knit fabrics for the skirt of the Washington.

  3. Based on my first attempt, I’m going to need to perform some adjustment on the back. I’m extremely short-waisted plus very high-hipped and the back midriff piece sits very strangely on my butt. I was thinking about using the front midriff for the back to provide the shortening I needed. Any thoughts on what mods I need to do on the back skirt pattern piece for this adjustment? Is there something better I should try on attempt #2?

Let me know what you think!