hem length

adiemus

New member
Something I'm have a wee bit of trouble with is hem length. How long should a skirt be (dress or skirt)? My greatest fear is that I tread on the hem and pull the whole lot off myself, but too short and it looks like I'm either mean with the fabric or I like ankle dusters!
At the moment I'm aiming for just on the middle of my ankle bone, but is that really too short? And if I have a shaped skirt (tulip or something) how long should the front be and how long the back?
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
I was told to measure to the bottom of the ankle bone. On me that is one inch off the floor when I am standing straight up. I've found at that length when I bend my knees slightly to dance it just sweeps the floor.
 

gisela

Super Moderator
I like it to skim the floor when I stand straight. Because I am 5'11" I do have costumes that end a few inches from the floor but I feel incredibly conscious and awkward about that. Don't like. All those are in some kind of process of being lengthened somehow.
Maybe it is because I am so tall that I feel like the costumes just look like they are outgrown if they don't touch the floor ;)
 

PracticalDancer

New member
I would like to echo (third, rather than second???) the comment about sweeping the floor. While I have made many of my skirts too short (darn it!) and cut them to the ankle, I can attest that longer hem lengths actually make the dancer look more elegant. I have spent many, many hours over the last few years filming dancers at local events, trying to figure out how tight (how close-up) to film them. I tend to leave the camera out a bit, so that you can see the "whole" dancer for the ones with longer hems, because they seem to "float" much better than the ones whose toes are exposed. Being able to see the feet work is GREAT in class, but very detracting on stage.

That said, I understand the comment about treading on the hem. My advise there is to wear ballet slippers (so toes don't get caught in beading), to keep moving (skirts are a lot like veils, you have to keep air under them), and to ALWAYS practice in your costume.

To corrupt a line from The Wind and the Willows: there is nothing, absolutely nothing, more beautiful than a choo-choo hidden by a hem that grazes the floor. ;)

Regards,

Anala
 

Nebetmiw

New member
Been here before but not with BD skirts I have this for you. Make sure to measure with the shoes you plan to wear with this skirt also in your BD stance. Nothing worse than once it is cut and sewn that you find out that it is too short due to those factors.

Depending on your heel or no heel will tell you where you need to cut. Flat foot will be higher than with a heeled shoe. The higher your heel the higher your ankle goes. So if you want floor sweeping and measure to flat foot but wear heels, well you will not have floor sweeping then. Just friendly reminder to measure more than once before cutting. :D
 

adiemus

New member
Wonderful counsel wise women! I am hereby needing to add an inch or two to my hemlines (or pull the skirt waist down a bit!).
I think the trick is to practice, practice, practice in my skirt.
I know what you mean about that wonderful 'floating' look on the choochoo shimmy! So yeah, I need to lower the hems. Not to hard to do, it's mainly about disguising them with trim or beading or something. But dang I hate reworking costumes!
BTW I don't wear heels - just flats or bearpaws/dancepaws
 

gisela

Super Moderator
Check out this hem length. Talk about sweeping the floor. I saw this live and it was beautiful, but the skirt was a teeny bit distracting. It swished around so much and made me nervous about her tripping. She didn't seemed bothered by it, but she is such a pro.
 

PracticalDancer

New member
Check out this hem length. Talk about sweeping the floor. I saw this live and it was beautiful, but the skirt was a teeny bit distracting. It swished around so much and made me nervous about her tripping. She didn't seemed bothered by it, but she is such a pro.
She probably designed it! If I understand correctly, they carefully design costumes to accent the moves.

And, how about that unusual knee shimmy that didn't travel up to the hips? That's a new one for me!

(returns to topic)

Perhaps the lesson here is to be aware that your costume will dance with you, so pick a hem length that compliments and enhances the moves.

Regards,

Anala
 

Amulya

Moderator
I was told to measure to the bottom of the ankle bone. On me that is one inch off the floor when I am standing straight up. I've found at that length when I bend my knees slightly to dance it just sweeps the floor.
I prefer this too, I just prefer to be safe than sorry: longer hemline might make a dancer trip.
 
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