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Sewing Hems On Clothing Rules And Tips | Different Types Of Hems

Updated on March 5, 2014

Hem Making And Types Of Hems On Garments

Hems that are made on garment are folds of fabrics that you can fold twice to cover the raw edges of a fabric. The first fold should be straight and even and you should turn the first fold towards you as you stitch.

The hems you find on skirts, trousers and dresses are focus position that the eyes are easily drawn to. The hemline should be stitched to appear even. Hem making is one of the dressmaker's method used to tidy up the finish of a garment.

The hems are always the last part that a dressmaker should stitch on a garment. If you are sewer, you can finish the hem with a binding or facing. Some people prefer decorative hem that can be sewn on the right side of the skirt, dress or trouser. The usual hems are always not visible from the right side.

There are many types of hems that you can sew on clothing. These are just some of them: faced hem, turned-up hem, rolled hem, invisible flared hem, straight hem, sewing hem, french hem, flannel hem, pleats hem and others.

Tips On Sewing A Basic Hem On Skirts, Trousers And Dresses

  • Remember to always pin at right angles to the hemline and never horizontally
  • Make sure that the depth of the hem is even and straight
  • Always place the fabric that you want to hem on a flat surface such as table
  • Tack the hem from the lower edge
  • Always press the hem from the wrong side


Different Types Of Hems On Garments

These are some of the different types of hems that you can sew on skirts, dresses or trousers:

Turned-up Hem

You can make the turned-up hems by folding or turning the raw edges of the hem within. It depends on how you want the hem to turn out, you can turn the edges of the hem as wide or narrow and then use hand stitch or slip stitch to hem near the edge of the fold.

Rolled Hem

You can make rolled hems on the wrong side of the fabric. This you do by making tiny roll on the edge and then using fine and even stitches on the hem that you roll. You can sew rolled hem by hand or sewing machine. If you want to use machine for the rolled hem, you will have to set a rolled hem foot on the sewing machine or overlocker.

Faced Hem

You may decide to use faced hem or facing to protect the edge of a garment and also to control bulk on the hem. Facing will give a flat finish to the hem. This type of hem is used for where fabric on the edge is not enough to fold or where there are curved edges. You can use a separate piece of fabric to create a hem. You can find faced hems on wide, full skirts or night wear.

Invisible Hem Or Slip Stitch Hem

You can sew the invisible hem by over sewing the raw edges by hand using small running stitch or by using sewing machine blind hem foot. The invisible hem or slip stitch hem can be stitched on wool, thick materials and silk. If you want to stitch invisible hem by hand, the needle should slip under as you stitch on the surface of the fabric, allow the needle to go through the first fold and then sew behind to make the thread invisible.

Sewing Hem

Sewing hems use sewing machine to stitch the hem. You should let the needle take up only the edge of the hem that you want to sew.

French Hem

You can use french hemming on curtains and table linens. Fold just like you would an ordinary hem and continue to fold back the hem on the right side of the fabric and stitch. Press the hem flat from the right side.

Straight Hem

You should turn the raw edge under if you are using light weight fabric and slip stitch to garment.

Flannel Hem

You can make flannel stitch by using cat stitch method on the wrong side and then use decorative or ornamental stitch to finish the hem on the right side. You should not fold the flannel hem twice and you should not use hand stitch or machine stitch on flannel hem.

Pleats Hem

Pleats hem uses herringbone stitch to make the hem as flat as possible. This will prevent the stitching marks on the hem from being visible. You do not have to over sew the pleat hem raw edge.

Hem Making Rules And Tips

These are some of the key rules that you can apply when you want to make hems.

  • Always pin at right angles to the hem and never horizontal no matter how wide or narrow the hemline is.
  • Make sure that the hem lie flat on a surface such as a table, so that the hem can lie straight and even, especially if you making a curved hem.When you pin the hem, never slant the pins as this can cause a shift and a twist for the fabric layers.
  • Ensure that when you are ironing that you press the hem from the wrong side
  • Do not press so hard on the hemline as they may leave impressions on the hem which may be difficult to remove later.
  • Always give the hems light pressing
  • When you are making hems, never pull the hem stitches too tight.

How To Sew Rolled Hem Using Sewing Machine Video Tutorial


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