The Golden Ratio

A flattering hemline?

Earlier this week when I wrote about the skirt I made in excitement over the Ready-To-Wear Tailoring Sew-Along, I asked for opinions about the skirt length. ML quickly responded that I should aim for a flattering length, and I agreed with her – she is brilliant and successful after all. But, I wasn’t sure how to determine my ideal skirt length. Thankfully, Steph of Three Hours Past the Edge of the World wrote to say that she was just about to explain on her blog how to usethe golden ratio to calculate the perfect hemline.

Steph was good to her word and wrote a very detailed explanation of how the golden ratio applied to her recent projects. After reading her post, I measured my shoulders and came up with 14.5″ for b, which gave me 23.5″ for a, and 38″ for a+b. Using these numbers I found that my hemline should end just above my knee caps.

My personal golden ratio numbers in inches (not to scale!).

I made all of the measurements by myself since my husband is out of town. I am going to have him remeasure me for accuracy before I actually hem the skirt. But, I did my best to get everything lined up and pinned for the shot at the top. Once I get the hemline perfected, I’ll post a final photo so that you can see the full on golden ratio in action.

Now, friends, one last request – please let me know if something looks wrong with my calculations. I have to admit that seeing Steph’s hemline hit her just under the knee, when mine numbers put mine just over my knee, makes me a bit wary of my math or my measurements…

Update: My husband just got home. My measurements were a bit short. According to my husband b = 15.5″, a = 25″, and a + b = 40.5″.Those extra 2.5″ end up covering my knees.

10 thoughts on “The Golden Ratio

  1. Hey, awesome to see you working on this. My shoulders are wider than yours, so it stands to reason my skirts would be longer.

    What an odd sentence if taken out of context…

    1. Yes, well, my shoulders weren’t quite as narrow as I first thought they were! I still haven’t hemmed this skirt, but I have been spending a lot of time playing with rulers and photos so that I’ll be able to hem it confidently when I do.

    1. Thanks for the translation. As a scientist and runner, I tend to think in meters a lot of the time, but my sewing ruler is only in inches. When reading over the Fashion Code’s site, they recommend measuring with a hard tape measure, so I might try again here with the tape measure currently in my tool box. I wonder if it also has meters on it…

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