Sewing the Bottom of a Skirt With Fishing Wire

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For a flouncy effect, line your skirt's hem with fishing wire. Provided you use a fabric that's lighter than the fishing line, the technique will give your skirt a curly bottom edge. If you're new to the technique, practice with a scrap of the same fabric you're planning to use for your skirt.

Materials

Your skirt's hem won't have the ruffled effect unless you use suitably lightweight fabric. Taffeta and organza make excellent options for fabric, especially since the ruffle effect is so well-suited to special occasion outfits, such as bridal wear or formal wear. Using thicker fishing line will produce a more pronounced curly effect. Floral wire is another usable alternative to fishing wire or fishing line. Use 10- to 15-pound gauge for lighter fabrics and 25-pound fishing line for heavier material.

Technique

The basic procedure to make a curly hem is similar to what you'd use for a standard hem. Cut your fabric on the bias for the best results, or, if using stretchy fabric, cut it so that the stretchier direction is parallel to the hem. Make the hem at least half an inch wide; fold the fabric over, iron it to create an even crease, and use pins to hold it in place. Sew either by hand or with a machine, but leave both ends of the hem open so you can insert the fishing line. To insert the fishing line smoothly, thread it through a large needle or simply cut a notch in the eraser end of a pencil, thread the line into the notch, and then use the pencil to push the line all the way through the hem.

Serging

If you have access to a serger or an overlock sewing machine, you can neatly incorporate the fishing line into the serged hem. Use a three-thread rolled stitch of about 1 mm or about 1/32 inch. The presser foot may be either standard or rolled, and the needle should be aligned on the right side, if possible.

Applications

For a subtle touch of sophistication, finish off a simple sheath-style dress with a whorled fishing-line hem. If you're looking for something more eye-catching, use the hem to finish off several layers of fabric. The effect will be like starched ruffles, with a considerable degree of extra volume. Whether at the hem, as sleeves, or around the neck, the layers give your piece a flamenco-inspired look that's festive and feminine.

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