How to Hem, using different methods

When your hems have been prepared, you are ready to stitch the hem in place. There are several ways in which you can do this.

Hemming by hand

Hand blindstitch: Fold back the top edge of the hem. Take a tiny stitch in and out of the garment fabric. Take the next stitch 1/4″ (6mm) away within the fold of the hem. Continue, keeping stitches small and 1/4″ (6mm) apart. The stitches will be hidden between the layers of the fabric.

Slant stitch: Take a tiny stitch in and out of the garment, and bring the needle through the edge of the hem. Repeat, evenly spacing and slanting the stitches. If your fabric ravels, pink the edge before hemming.

Hemming by Machine

Machine blindstitch: (refer to your owner’s manual for machine settings.) Place the hem allowance face-down on the machine on the machine bed and fold back the rest of the fabric, leaving about 1/4″ (6mm) of the hem edge extending beyond the fold. Align the fold against the guide in the foot. Stitch along the hem, close to the fold, catching only one or two threads of the garment with each left-hand stitch. Open the fabric and press the hem flat.

Machine Topstitch: Fold the hem to the desired width. Finish the edge of woven fabrics by turning under the garment edge 1/4″ (6mm) press. Topstitch close to the pressed edge. You can also add a second row of stitching 1/4″ (6mm) away from the first.

Twin Needle Hems stitched with a twin needle will stretch a little – so they are great for knit garments. Stitch on the right side of the fabric, catching the underside of the upper edge of the hem allowance. (You may need to buy a twin needle for your machine.)

Narrow Hem: A narrow hem is great for sheer and silky fabrics. Trim the hem allowance to 1/2″ (1.3cm). Press under 1/4″ (6mm) and then 1/4″ (6mm) again. Machine-stitch close to the inner fold. This style hem is also suitable for bias-cut garments.


Fused hem Hemming with a fusible web is a good method for hemming lightweight woven fabrics. Test the web on scrap fabric before applying to your garment. Clean-finish the raw edge of the fabric for a neater appearance. Insert a strip of the fusible web between the hem and the garment. Steam-press, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

TIP: When hand-stitching or machine blindstitching a hem, catch only one thread of the garment fabric in each stitch for a truly invisible hem.