How To Hem
How to measure, cut, and hand-stitch a simple hem.
The first part of creating a hem is best done with a partner.
1. Ask person who plans to wear the hemmed piece of clothing to put it on with the shoes they plan to wear and stand on a hard, flat chair. Have them stand up straight.
2. Fold the piece of clothing inward and pin the folded material in place. The goal is to fold the material such that the resulting hem is horizontally straight and makes the piece of clothing the proper length.
3. Rest the end of a yardstick on the floor and have the clothes-wearer turn in a circle on the chair to make sure that the bottom of the hem is a consistent height.
4. When the fold is straight and securely pinned, have the clothes-wearer get off the chair and hand over the piece of clothing to be hemmed.
This is an important interim step.
1. Iron the folded material until the crease of the hem is set.
2. Unpin the fabric. Note that the ironed crease allows you know where the hem should be without having to work around the pins.
1. Turn the piece of clothing inside out.
2. Leaving approximately 1½ inch of fabric between the ironed crease and your scissors, cut off the excess fabric.
1. Fold the 1½ inch of fabric in half so that the cut edge rests against the inside of the crease.
2. Pin the folded fabric in place with the pins horizontal to the fold.
3. Iron the folded fabric until the creases are set.
1. Thread a small-sized needle with thread the same color as the fabric you’re hemming.
2. Knot the end of the thread and stitch from the inside of the fold through to the outside.
3. Work your way around the crease, catching just a few threads (depending of fabric weight) on the inside of the main body of the garment while fully stitching through the crease of the hem. Although the stitches through the folded hem will be visible when you turn the garment inside out, catching the main piece of fabric as little as possible with each individual stitch keeps the hem from showing on the outside of the garment.
4. When you’ve circled the entire distance of the hem, tie off the thread and cut off the excess.
5. Turn the garment right-side out and iron.