But the skirt is pretty straightforward and it should be no problem at all for me to shorten it. The question, though, was "how much?" Ordinarily I'd go over to my sister's and press her into service as pinned, but this time I asked Himself if he could manage to do the honors. He thought he could. And he did.
It brought back memories. My mother made many dresses and jumpers and once even a fully lined spring coat for me when I was growing up. She sewed beautifully and I enjoyed wearing the things she created. But the last step always had to do with "pinning up the hem," and I dreaded that. Our house had a landing at the foot of the main staircase with three steps going down the right side into the den. I would stand perfectly still on the landing and my mother would sit on the step below and, using a yardstick and a cushion of pins, mark exactly where the hem should be. She would tap my leg with the yardstick, telling me to make a microscopic clockwise turn, and insert the next pin. I didn't know it at the time, but I had low blood pressure, and standing still for a long time caused me to become light-headed. I'd feel like I was going to faint. Worse, once I was held captive in position, this was an ideal time for a discourse on my many flaws and failings. Oh, how I hated it!
My memory tells me that back in the fifties, hems went up and hems went down. I recall my mother raising and lowering the hems on her dresses, depending on how many inches from the floor fashion was calling for that season. Can this possibly be right? My sister, being older than me, was trusted with measuring hems for mother.
Do people still care now if a hem is precisely the same number of inches from the floor all of the way around? I'm going to go ahead and hem my marked linen skirt. I'm going to cut off precisely the same amount all of the way around, turn under 1/4", press well and stitch, and then turn that edge up two inches and sew it in place. The original hem is machine-done, of course. But I'll prolly do mine by hand.