Monday, April 8, 2013

Where, Oh Where, Should My Hem Level Be?

It is a brand new morning and a brand new week.  So far, it's been a great one for me.  Hope the same is true for you!

The anonymous lady who said all my blouses are too short got me wondering.  If she is right, I could sure save a lot of time shortening my tops either in the paper pattern or in RTW.

I bought three tops on sale after Christmas at Dillard's, and they have been hanging up here in my sewing room ever since waiting to be shortened.  Actually, I had almost forgotten about them even though they were hanging right here where everyone could see them.  I decided to take long/short pictures -- put them together side-by-side -- and see WHY I always shorten my tops. 

Here is Top #1 -- The Green Top:

The FIRST thing you notice here -- in the long version on the right -- is the hem goes straight downhill to the right -- just like I do. 

In the picture on the left, I have just folded the bottom of the top up for the picture.  When I hem it, it will be crooked like I am and, therefore, appear to be straight.

This is what I see: 

The long top cuts right across my butt. 

The long top makes my waist appear to be up under my armpits. 

The long top makes my legs look short and wide.

The long top covers all my pocket openings.
The short top makes my waist look much lower.

The short top is straight across my back (or will be).

The short top doesn't cut my legs off.

The short top is above my pockets, and in some cases, that is the prettiest part of the jeans.

Here is the long/short front of the top. 

To me, it makes my waist appear to be much lower.

To me, it looks "younger".

And, of course, the same issues as the back.

BTW, I LOVE this color of green.  Hope I can find some fabric this color.


Here is Top #2 -- The Striped Top:

Both of these tops are several layers of knit sewn on top of each other. 

You can really see it here. 

I think -- and Jerry agreed -- that because of the print in this one, it looks okay the length that it is.  I will just take about an inch or two off this one.

The short version on the left looks funny because of the print, and I probably have it folded up too far.

On the right, the hem looks crooked because it is straight; so I will make it crooked, and then it will appear to be straight.

I might wear the striped top with my new red pants. 

The pockets don't show in those pants, and they aren't as bulky as jeans. 

And I am NOT wearing skinny jeans or leggings -- EVER!

The long version still chops my legs off.  If I would wear 5" heels, that may not be an issue.

I am NOT wearing 5" - or 4" - or 3" heels -- EVER!

Here is the front of the striped top.

And just as you thought this was going to be over, it isn't!

I have another blouse to show you.  I had three, remember.

Here is Top #3 -- The Stars Top:

This blouse is an empire waist, so the waist is SUPPOSED to be high. 

I think it looks okay the way it is, but still prefer it a little shorter.  I may just bend over to the right a little when I walk to straighten up this hem.  WHO is going to care, but me.  Only people who sew for fit notice whether or not other people's clothes fit them or not. 

I think if I wear this with yoga pants, it will look fine.  Yoga pants aren't all chopped up with pockets, so you have more leg.

Jerry walked in as I was photographing this, and I forgot to take a picture of the backs.  Oh, well.  I'm sure, at this point, nobody is going to lose sleep over it.

Note:  The pictures don't always stay where I put them, so try to figure out what pic goes with what words if they don't seem to align. 

It is Monday.  I have a bank statement to do.  Gotta get!

Let me know what you think.  Is the anonymous lady right?

Hugs, Joy


  1. Although I never mentioned it, I thought your tops could be a little longer, but then I don't think you tuck them in. Looking at them again, in general, I think shorter works better for you. Here are my votes for these three:

    1-green. Shorter
    2-striped. Longer (but mostly because of the pattern design)
    3-stars. Either length

    Based on the tops I've seen on your blog, I'd have to vote for shorter.

  2. You are right on the money - keep everything "short" or to your liking.....Lydia (this will come through as ANON.)

    1. Vote for Short on your tops. Joan

  3. I like the shorter length, looks great on you therefore I would keep them short.
    P.S Love all the tops they are beautiful.


  4. I have generally the same figure as you and always wear my tops at the high hip. First I think it confuses the eye: is that really a full tummy under there or just folds (guess which, haha). Second, I feel it makes me look taller. There's a "rule of three" printed out somewhere regarding proportions. You know what I mean: your body should be presented in 3s: one third/one third/one third proportion. The shorter length top is accomplishes that.

  5. Hi Joy,

    It is funny isn't it - on the green top and the empire waist the shorter looks better to me. But I agree with you, the animal print looks better a little longer. A good lesson for me to learn about working with the fabric in some cases.

    Cheers, Barb

  6. Here I am again, but I went looking for that "rule of three" thing and couldn't easily found it. However, this link goes into some detail. I assume, for some reason, that you are not over 5'4". ??? Anyway, here it is:

    1. Carole,

      Peggy Sagers has written a book about this subject, and I have it. The book has over a hundred errors in it in spelling and punctuation, but the information and pictures are very helpful. It is about 3rds and 5ths. It is at my other house, or I would go get it. Thanks for the link. I am 5'5", and I currently weigh 146.

      Hugs, Joy

  7. Well since you posted your height it's the same as me. Personally I think anon was half right. I think the short is too short and the long too long. I would go in the middle of the two choices.

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I think I agree with that.

  8. The beauty of sewing is that you can make your tops or shorten them to any length you please. With that said, I think the long ones are definitely too long. I have this problem all the time myself. Sometimes I just wait to see if the shirt shortens up a bit in the wash. On the other hand, I think the short tops are too short. I'd say lengthen them about an 1 or an 1 1/2. It's great that you can change the hem to accommodate your high hip! That's just my two cents worth, but really the only person you need to please is yourself.

  9. Nice tops.
    Like the stripe a bit longer and the other two somewhere between your short and long. I think that the style and fabric might influence the length choice.
    Ultimately it is your choice - you got to be happy.

  10. Hi, the anonymous lady here. I started something didn't I?

    It is all a matter of getting the length that looks right for the style and what you are wearing it with. I never make tops a standard length, just make a judgement at the time. IMHO, the green top needs to be a little shorter than the 'long', the black and white is good long and the final top a length between the two.

    So, another question......when do you wear all these tops? You must have wardrobes full of them. Why not make something else? What happened to the red coat?

    1. Oh, NO! You would remember the "red coat". I got to the "bagging the hem" part, and I got lost. I will probably finish it next year.

      And, yes, I do have tons of tops. I NEVER wear dresses because of the shoe issue. My feet swell during the day, and the shoes always have to come off, and that isn't very attractive with a dress. With pants, I can wear shoes that allow my feet to swell. They aren't what I would wear with a dress though.

      When you have a hundred blouses, you hardly ever have to wash and iron them! Plus, I have given away lots of RTW -- most brand new and never worn. I gave away two beautiful 3-pc suits this week that still have the price tags on them! Thank goodness, I am not near any Malls here that have end-of-the-season sales. Those used to always get way too much of my attention!

      I am thinking of making some more jackets. It is really hot here in Southern OK in the Summer, so I don't really need many of those.

      What is your name, Anonymous??? I really appreciate your honest comments and would like to know who I am talking to here.

      Hugs, Joy

  11. I like them all at the short length. The striped one could be a little longer, but I think short is fine. You are better balanced when the tops are shorter. That 2/3 to 1/3 rule does make a difference. A lot of us want to hide our tummy by making our tops longer, not realizing that it makes it look bigger, not smaller. I know I look better with my tops at my high hip. But sometimes I let one of them be longer just for something different. It will drive you crazy if you have to lift the top out of the way to dig into your pockets. You like things organized and you would feel unorganized if your pockets were covered by your top. Most importantly, make yourself happy!
    Hugs, Phylly

  12. Ah, now that would be telling, perhaps one day I will, but yes, I do remember the red coat as you were making such a good job of it. I love reading your blog and seeing the lovely things you make.

    I can appreciate your problem with shoes although I am a high heeled girl. How about some pretty low heeled mules to wear with dresses or some strappy sandals, perhaps in a larger size to fit when your feet swell? I often wear long cotton kaftans around the house in summer and have gold strappy sandals to wear with them. Just an idea.

    Happy Sewing!

    PS At the end of the day it is your seing and despite what I say you should please yourself.

  13. If it is opinions you really want...I think the longer tops make your torso look longer and thinner and you look taller overall. The shorter tops look a little boxier and thicken your middle some. I agree with some others that maybe an in between point might be best.

    With that said, you should go with what makes you the most comfortable and happy because that is what shows on your face!


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Hugs, Joy