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How to Sew a Hem on a Curved Edge

Hemming is a must-have in any sewing project. It is generally used to join parts together to strengthen edges or enhance the fabric appearance. But as you explore your skills further, you’ll encounter curved edges, which some sewers find quite challenging to tackle.

Yes, sewing a hem on a curved edge requires a little more knowledge and time. Fret not! It will become a whole lot simpler as soon as you master the steps and tricks. Here’s what you need to know.

How to Sew a Hem on a Curved Edge?

First, you need to prepare basic sewing materials: fabric, scissors, pins, and thread. Then using a ruler or sewing gauge, measure the distance between hem allowance and fabric edge.

Sew a line of basting either through a sewing machine or ever-traditional thread and needle. You can also use a bias tape maker or hem facing as an alternative.

Method 1: Sew Hem on a Curved Edge Using a Needle and Thread

A needle and thread is the most common type of sewing we have learned from our grandparents or mothers. It might be time to put those skills into real knack by hemming curved edges!

Hand sewing actually provides a neater look, not to mention very satisfying. Well, yes, what you need is a bit of patience while ironing, stitching, and folding. But trust us, it’ll be worth it. Ready to get your hands to do the delicate work?

Step1: Be sure the edge you’re going to stitch on is appropriately neat. All seams must be consistent with each other. Trim any excess fabric.

Step 2: Measure your hem allowance using a ruler or sewing gauge. Fold, press in position, and then pin. Due to the curve shape, don’t worry about the cloth unfolding itself.

Step3: Start sewing near the pressed edge. Cut off the extra fabric on the brink of the stitch. As possible, use a scissor with a polished point when doing so.

Step 4: Run a line of basting stitches close to the fabric edge. Make sure the stitches are half the distance further than the fabric edge. Assuming you want to have a final hem measurement of ? inches. Your basting stitches need to be ? inches starting from the edge.

Step 5: Fold the hem all over again as you run stitches. Use the pin as you go along. You surely want to achieve a nice smooth finish. One trick some experts share is to pull one of the stitched longer bastes every few centimeters.

Essential Tips:

1. Prewash the fabric before using it. Dry off until it becomes a little bit damp, then iron out. Doing so will make the cloth much easier to work with.

2. Try not to stretch the fabric a lot as it will cause pressure; hence, giving you a disgruntled finish.

3. If you don’t have pins, use a bias binding hem to join edges and form a bound hem. The same tip also applies to other forms of hem sewing. Perhaps a set of hair clips will look suitable for your fabric. Don’t you think?

Method 2: Sew Hem on a Curved Edge With a Sewing Machine

Of course, a sewing machine is preferable if you’re short of time and needs to sew a piece instantly. In particular, it will only take you less than two hours to finish sewing a hem on a curved edge.

Step 1: Finish or tidy up the raw edge first using your machine’s special overlocking stitches. You can alternatively use a serger if you have one. It prevents frayed edges.

Step 2: Measure the amount of fabric you want to fold down to create a hem (what we call a hem allowance). Again, use a ruler or a sewing measurement tool you have at home. Get your fabric marker to put a mark on the line together with the curve. Create a fold afterward, then baste and press it.

Step 3: Sew a basting stitch not far off the edge. Use a long and straight stitch on your machine – usually about 5mm. Leave the end threads loose as they should be.

Step 4: It’s time to press and pin. Press the fabric in place with an iron. You don’t need to move the iron just as you would on regular clothes. Press it down repetitively on the fabric material to achieve a crusty fold.

Get your box of sewing pins, insert one after another to the edge in a perpendicular position. Best to leave at least one-inch distance from each other. But if you’re working on a tight curve, place the pins nearer together.

Step 5: Let your regular presser foot do the rest of the job. Otherwise, it’s time to flaunt what your edge stitching foot can do. Remember to remove every pin before moving along. Not only will it damage your fabric, but it will also cause your sewing machine to blip.

Step 6: For the final step, give your curved hem one last press, and you’re done!

Essential Tips:

1. Similar to sewing a hem by hand, prewash the fabric of your choice and avoid stretching it throughout. Treat it gently, especially when sewing and pinning.

2. Press the folds with an iron as it provides a crisp finish, besides encouraging stress-free sewing. Don’t set the heat too high, or your fabric will get ruined.

3. Drawing before stitching is very helpful when using any sewing machine. That’s why we suggested marking your hem allowance accurately. You can focus solely on the fabric and worry less about the guide.

Other Methods to Sew Hem on a Curved Edge

In case a sewing machine is inaccessible, you can try other options such as bias tape or hem facing. Also ideal if you’re not a fan of needle and thread and want to spice things up. These methods make the hemming process painless and more pleasurable while maintaining the perfect curve.

The tape hem gives bounce and frame to a lightweight fabric. You can buy one such tape or make it on your own. It comes in limited colors, though, but you can still find a color that will best match your cloth.

Tape Hem

Step 1: Choose your preferred decorative ribbon or tape. It should not exceed more than two centimeters wide. Just be sure it can cover the whole length of your fabric edge. Add a few centimeters you can slip under the raw edges.

Step 2: Pin the tape to the hemline of your garment. The wrong side must face the fabric right side. Half the width should poke out outside the hemline.

Step 3: Press up the tape, and then pin into position. Start sewing either manually or with your regular machine.

Hem Facing

This method is best to use if you need to hem a curved edge with a bizarre shape. In some cases, it makes an attractive option for dense fabric materials. Hem facing refers to stitching two pieces of cloth and turning them right side out.

Like tape hem, you can also run stitches by hand or a machine. Avoid using too sharp objects when turning your material right side out. Instead, use a knitting needle or any pointed objects to smoothen out the edge.

What Is a Basting Stitch, and What Does It Do?

In hem sewing, basting means making temporary, quick stitching you can remove later. Some call it tacking. It will help you keep tricky hems intact.

Basting also eliminates tedious manual marking and measuring, besides making the hem simpler to fold. Alternatives include basting spray and glue and pin basting.

How to Finish a Curved Hem?

Fortunately, you’re not only limited to bias tape. Finishing a curved hem gives you a couple of options, such as serged finish. It is effortless and gives a gorgeous, neat look.

You also have baby hem – primarily for tinny lightweight fabrics. Otherwise, add decorative stitches or frills along the edge.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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