My top tips for sewing curved hems

On Sewing Quarter I had the pleasure of demonstrating how to make a top with a very dramatic looking draped sleeve. I described it as a tube being attached to a circle. This may sound odd but those are actually the shapes that they are. I like to analyse and break down pattern shapes, not only for my own benefit when I’m designing a pattern but also as a way of encouraging my students to develop an eye for how patterns are made.

Ease stitching is a particularly useful stitch when making this design. Have a look at how the line of stitches enabled me to press a narrow hem all the way around the sleeve edge. It did look very much like a lily pad when I’d drawn the thread up!

You can view the show here…Sewing a circular sleeve hem using ease stitch

If you’d like to see the show where I demonstrated how to make the tulip sleeves, click here…Sewing a narrow, curved hem, on a tulip sleeve using ease stitch

Here’s the technique of turning up and sewing, then turning a second time and sewing again. This is pictured in the main image on this blog post where I’ve hemmed a green cotton dress. Narrow curved hem, turned and stitched twice

As always, there are many ways to approach the same project. Another technique I’ve used when hemming a circular skirt or curved hem is to sew a contrast bias binding all around the hem edge. It adds a really attractive design feature and the slight stretch in the bias binding makes it easy to attach. Either use ready made bias binding or make your own as I’ve done here.

Bias binding hem.JPG
I used bias binding, which I made using a remnant of cotton, to hem a denim dress.


Happy sewing!

Jennifer x