Reduce hem, no sew. Alter the hem of a dress without sewing.

reduce hem no sew

Alter a hem in 10 minutes. No sewing.

Want to alter the hem of a skirt or dress but don’t have a sewing machine? This “no sew hem’ tutorial explains how to take up the hem of a skirt or dress and create a new hem in 10 minutes – without a sewing machine or any sewing necessary.

In the upcycling video below, I’ll show you how to hem a skirt or dress in under 10 minutes – without a sewing machine – so you’re off to the party in no-time.

Watch the no sew hem tutorial below


I bought this dress for a few dollars from my local thrift store. It was a Shein* dress. When I got it home and tried it on, I realised it had a long fishtail style hem. I’m quite short so this was completely impractical and I can only assume that whomever donated to the charity shop had the same dilemma. It sat in my upcycling and sewing pile for a few weeks.

Over Easter I had a few picnics and get togethers organised and, on the day of on of those get togethers decided I wanted to wear it. I couldn’t be bothered getting my sewing machine out so reached for the hemming web.

Hemming web is used to fuse two pieces of fabric together when heated by an iron. It is so handy to have in your sewing kit, particularly when the dress you want to wear to the party needs a quick hemline adjustment.

Step 1 – Cut off the excess hem fabric

First I cut off the fish tail hem to create a new straight hem. I may sew the bottom back on at a later date to create a ruffled hem in the contrasting fabric I cut off.

So I knew where to cut in a straight line, I drew a line with a red texta but you won’t see this because the new hem will hide it.

Then, it’s over to the ironing board.

Step 2 – Press the new hem in place with hemming web tape

I forgot to press record on my camera when I was pressing the new hem on the dress so, for the purpose of this video, used the fabric cut off from the fishtail hem to recreate the process to show you how easy and quick it is.

You’ll notice that first I’ve used the iron to press the new hem seam, then I simply tuck in the hemming web tape, lining it up to the top of the seam and then press it into place.

It instantly bonds the two pieces of fabric together and I’ve got an instant seam. And I’m ready to go to the party. Depending on the quality of the hemming web tape you use, it can last for many, many washes.

If you find it coming undone, and you don’t have a sewing machine, just follow the process above again.

The hemming web is cheap enough I hope this tutorial helps get you out of your next hem reduction emergency.

* I am seeing soooo many of these in the thrift stores these days, evidence of the waste from fast fashion.

benefits of learning to sew

The benefits of sewing, mending and making your own clothes.

In an era of environmental consciousness, learning to sew and make your own clothes is more relevant and beneficial than ever.

Sewing skills not only mean saving money (more important in times of high cost of living) but play a significant role in reducing your environmental footprint.

Below are how learning to sew and utilising your existing sewing skills can make a positive impact on your life and the planet.

Learning to sew can be cost effective

Learning to sew and mend your clothes can lead to substantial savings now and in the long term.

Instead of discarding garments due to minor damages you can easily repair them yourself. Upcycling clothes gives them a new life, keeping then in the circular economy rather than going to landfill.

Making your own clothes means you can create custom pieces tailored to your style and fit.  Best of all, you’ll have the satisfaction of wearing something unique, knowing you made it yourself.

Sewing reduces your environmental impact

The fashion industry is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse emissions and environmental polluters. By learning to sew, mend, and upcycle, you actively participate in reducing this impact through waste reduction, resource conservation, and by reducing your carbon footprint.

Evolve your personal style and expression

Homemade and upcycled clothes offer a unique opportunity for personal expression where you can tailor clothes to your preference, size and design.

Sewing means you can enjoy a more meaningful wardrobe that’s filled with items that you love and cherish.

Sewing enhances creativity

Sewing fosters creativity and skill development.

Upcycling encouraging you to think creatively about how to repurpose and rejuvenate old items. Sewing your own clothes allows you to experiment with different fabrics, patterns, and designs. There are no rules!

Making something with your own hands or bringing a beloved items back to life cultivates a sense resourcefulness.

Making ethical fashion choices

By making and mending your own clothes, you align with ethical fashion principles.

Fast fashion often involves exploitative labour practices and poor working conditions. By creating your own garments or repurposing second hand clothing, you know exactly where and how they were made, promoting fair labour practices and ethical production.

Sewing is less wasteful

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, millions of tons of textile waste are generated each year.

Repairing and upcycling clothes keeps them out of landfills and often being shipped overseas and burned.

By extending the life of your garments, you contribute to lowering the environmental impact of clothing waste across the world.