How to Sew a Curved Hem

How are your circle skirts and shirt tail hems looking these days?

A curved hem took me a long time to really master, no matter how many tutorials I tried. It always curled, or had just really yucky looking pookies on the interior side of the hem. Finally, when I worked on a television show on the costume team, I had to admit my failings. Two things that I was shown really helped me, but it had nothing to do with using a different presser foot or super savvy stitch skill. It was all in the hands.

In this written and video lesson, lets go through it step by step. I'll show you what to look for and how to manipulate the fabric to create a beautiful, small, professional looking hem.

The three tips that helped me the most:

1. Learn to slightly pull the fabric on the curve while pressing.

2. Learn to push the fabric towards the presser foot when the fabric wants to bunch and not lay flat.

3. Keep the hem small.

Lets take a look

1. Press once, at a 1/4 inch hem. And keep that hem consistent!

Its important to anchor the placket and the corner of the hem first. I press it under 1/4 an inch, and then fold and press it again a 1/4 inch, and pin it in place.

Fold the hem 1/4 an inch, and work to keep it consistent and small. 

2. Press again, at a 1/4 inch hem. Stretch slightly at the curve, and keep that hem size consistent.

Its important to slightly pull the fabric at the bias. Its hard to see the action of the slightest pull that I am applying to the cloth, so to see it in action scroll up and get the video sent to you.

Anchor the placket on the other side, pin. Then finish pressing the rest of the hem. 

3. Sew the hem down, gently pulling when you are curving, or pushing the fabric towards the presser foot when you need to.

Stay as close to the fold of the hem as possible, and do only 2 to 3 backstitches at the beginning and end to keep your sewing neat. 

I'm always looking for helpful tutorials to show you and my students. Let me know how I can help you, and you might just see it pop up as a tutorial soon :)

Thanks and happy sewing!