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  • Writer's pictureLonda

How-To for Angled Hemlines

As I have conducted jacket workshops around the country, I’ve found how very attractive ANGLED hemlines can be on ladies!  Especially what I call a ‘French’ line to the bottom of a jacket:  longer in the front AND back, but angling up at the sides gives a very slenderizing, long-legged silhouette and really solves the issue of ‘length’ for those who want it ‘long enough to cover the hips’, yet who realize that ‘cutting one in half’ is not a design principle smart thing to do…  It’s been fun to see the smiles come across faces when I suggest, and fold up an angled hemline at one of my creative sewing workshops or retreats.

Observe on the teal jacket below (my Genesis Plus Talking Pattern™) how ‘sharp’ it looks with even the subtly angled hemline compared to the look it would have had if I had made it straight around, horizontal.  If executing a turned up hem allowance, this definitely presents some challenges.  Let’s explore how to handle shaped hemlines…


Step-by-step, here is how to do the back hemline which really requires a hem allowance dart since when the back was cut (whether with a seam OR on a fold), this center back angle was not yet decided, but rather as part of fitting and design.  Think about it: at the top edge of the hem as it is turned up, there is LESS circumference than at the center back because of the angle of the hemline. The side seam hems are really just the opposite.  More on that later.