This dress has incredible beadwork on chiffon. 

a wedding dress that needs hemming work done

The hem border would be lost if I hemmed it from the bottom. 

hem of a wedding dress

The best alternative for this dress is to hem from the waist.  The bride also needed the torso shortened in the back. I would have needed to remove the bottom half of the zipper anyway for the torso shortening, so I feel that is a bonus since I need to remove it for a hem from the waist. When pinning the hem, measure from the waistline down to the floor, or whatever length the bride wants. This skirt length measured 40”.

hemming a wedding dress from teh waist

Remove skirt from bodice and bottom half of zipper. Keep all the lining layers of skirt together at the top. 

Measure up from center front skirt bottom the length of desired skirt.  Pin. 

Now measure from the top of skirt how much you will need to take off. Be sure to add seam allowances that will be needed to reattach bodice to skirt.  Measure and pin this all the way around top of skirt. 

Carefully cut the excess off the skirt from the top.

hemming from the waist with a pair fo scissors
hemming the wedding dress from the waist

Now take the original waist of skirt and put it on new skirt waist.  You will need to take in the side seams to match the original waist.  Use the original as a guide to get the curve the same as the original. 

measuring the wasit line fo a wedding dress
the waist line of a wedding dress having the hem altered

I needed to remove lots of beading before I could stitch the chiffon layer of the skirt top to fit original waist curve. 

Sewing the hem of a wedding dress

Unpick the back-skirt seam to fit zipper.

Attach skirt to bodice top.  I needed to shorten the bodice back 1” as I added the skirt to fix her short torso. 

measuring a hem line on a wedding dress

Insert zipper.

I’m done! Whew. Not an easy hem, but worth the results when its finished. 

This bride was really surprised at how well it fit through the hips and waist.  I copied the original slope as best as I could. Sometimes the hip needs refining a bit, but not this time. Lucky, I guess. 

a woman in her wedding dress after hemming it from the waist, using the spare lace as a mask