Sooner or later once you start sewing, you will need to sew a round hem. Circle and flared skirts are flattering and fun to make and many blouse patterns have a gently curved bottom hem. Don't be daunted! Here are 4 easy ways how to sew a round hem.
How to Sew a Round Hem - Narrow Hems
There are 4 main ways to sew a narrow round hem. Use method 2 or 3 if you have a serger and methods 1 and 4 if you only have a regular sewing machine.
- Bias tape - Best for thicker fabrics such as wool.
- Serger with single folded hem - Best for fine fabrics that can't be easily pressed eg. polyester.
- Serger with double folded hem - Best for fine fabrics that can be pressed eg. cotton voile.
- Double folded hem with a regular sewing machine - Great for fine fabrics that can be pressed eg. cotton voile or silk.
I will also show you how to sew a wide hem that is circular or rounded but this is a method best left to more experienced sewers. Beginners should use one of the narrow hem styles above.
Method #1 - Round Hem with Bias
This method uses ½ inch (12mm) wide double fold bias and creates an attractive hem on all shapes of curved hems.
I used a contrast bias but you will get the best results by using a matching colored bias to your dress or skirt and matching thread.
Further Reading: How to make bias tape, Continuous bias tape
Step 1: Start by opening up one side of your bias and pinning it along the raw edge with the right sides together.
Step 2: Straight stitch the bias in the crease. This will be approximately ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge.
Step 3: Press the bias to the inside of your garment. The seam will be right on the edge.
Step 4: On the wrong side, stitch around the bias tape close to the top folded edge.
Method #2 - Round Hem with Serging
You will often see store-bought garments with this finish on circular hems because it is one of the fastest methods and always gives good results.
The only time I don’t like to use it is on sheer fabrics where the serging will show through to the right side.
Step 1: Overlock around the circular edge of the fabric cutting off some of the seam allowances if necessary.
Step 2: Then press the edge up just one and stitch it in place on top of the overlocking stitch.
All done! If you have a serger then this is definitely the easiest of all the methods of creating round hems.
Method #3 - Round Hem with Serging & Folding
This is a great narrow hemming method that also works for gently curved circular hems.
Step 1: Overlock the raw edge of your skirt or dress.
Step 2: Press up the overlocked edge by the width of the stitches. Straight stitch along the bottom folded edge.
Step 3: Press the hem up again by the same amount and stitch on top of your row of stitches.
Method #4 - Round Hem with a Narrow Hem
This method is best for gently curved hems where you just have a regular sewing machine.
Step 1: Straight stitch around the circular hem ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge.
Step 2: Press up the hem along the stitched seam. The stitching forms a perforation in the fabric and helps you press it accurately.
Step 3: Then press the hem up again by the same amount.
Step 4: Stitch along the upper folded edge.
How to Sew a Round Hem - Wide Hems
Creating a wide circular hem is a little trickier and probably best left to intermediate to experienced sewers.
Step 1: With a long gathering stitch length, sew around your hem close to the raw edge. Gathering stitches should have a length of at least 4.0 (Read: how to gather)
Step 2: Pull the bobbin threads to gather the edge slightly.
Step 3: Then finish the hem with bias tape. See the full tutorial on how to create a wide hem with bias tape.
Tips for Sewing Round Hems
Regardless of the method, you have used to sew your round hem, always finish by giving it a good press.
Even if you have pressed during the construction process, a final press will help set your circular hem even flatter.
More Hem Articles
- GENERAL HEMS – How to Sew a Hem (This is the best article to read if you are not sure what kind of hem you need. It gives a rundown of all the most common types)
- NARROW HEMS – Sew a Narrow Hem
- ROLLED HEM FOOT – How to Use a Rolled Hem Foot
- WIDE HEMS – How to Sew Wide Hems
- CIRCULAR HEMS – How to Sew Round Hems
- BLIND HEMS – How to Sew a Blind Hem
- RUFFLED HEMS – Lettuce Hems
- KNIT FABRIC HEMS – How to Hem Knit Fabric, Catch Stitch
- KNIT HEMS – Twin Needle
- SQUARE HEMS – How to Sew Mitered Corners
- HAND HEMS – Hemming Stitch
- NO SEW HEMS - How to Use Hemming Tape
- SIMPLE HEMS - Single Fold Hems
- DOUBLE HEMS - Double Fold Hems
- BIAS - Bias Tape Hems
- SCALLOPS - Scalloped Edges
- INVISIBLE HEMS - Blind Hem Stitch
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