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4 Easy Steps to a Professional Looking Narrow Hem

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Do you have a special occasion coming and the last thing you need to do is hem your dress? Maybe you’ve got a long gown that you’re ready to turn into a knee length dress? Lightweight drapey fabrics can be daunting to sew, even if all you need to do is hem them. We would like to show you an effective way to create a professional looking hem on these finer fabrics.

Preparation: Mark and cut the hem. For our method, make sure that you leave yourself a ¾” hem allowance. That is, cut it ¾” longer than the desired finished length. Set your machine to a long stitch length. We set our machine to a 4.0 stitch length.

Step 1: Using the long stitch length, stitch ½” from the cut edge of your hem as shown above. Do not stretch the fabric as you do this. Let the machine feed the fabric through.

Once you have stitched around the entire hem, set your machine to a normal sewing stitch length. We set our machine to a 2.5 stitch length.

Step 2: With the right of the fabric facing down, fold the hem up along your stitching. Then stitch 1/8” away from the folded edge as shown above.

Once you have stitched all the way around your hem, it should now look like the photo above.

Step 3: We now need to trim away the excess hem allowance. Using some fine scissors, trim the hem allowance quite close to the stitching. You should be trimming away ¼” (half) of the ½” that you just turned up.

Step 4: Using the edge that you just cut as a guide, fold the hem up again. Stitch on top of your previous stitching. Essentially, your hem should now be ¼” and you should be stitching right up the centre of the hem.

Here is what your hem should look like at this point.

Optional: If you like, you can remove the first, long stitches that you used to mark the ½”.

Finally, give your beautiful hem a light press.

The results are very professional looking without the need for any special machines or attachments.


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