Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another How-to from Ellen Switzer. Happy Tuesday!

I'm working on Whitney's skirt today, and I think I'm going to have it done be tomorrow! I decided to put in a hem facing on the skirt hem, instead of just folding the edge up and sewing a blind stitch. I think hem facings are far more professional and actually easier to do. Here is how I did it:

Step One
Trace the bottom of your skirt pattern, making a facing, measuring up the sides of the skirt 2 1/4" to 2 5/8". Make sure you have a seam allowance on the bottom of the pattern, so you have enough to sew the facing to the skirt. Cut out the facing piece following grain of skirt pattern. Serge the edge of the facing that isn't sewn to the skirt-- the edge that you will see inside the skirt.

You are doing great! Step two:
Sew the front and back pieces of the skirt facing together, and then sew to skirt rights sides together, matching seam lines, and Center Front and Center Back.

The battle is won, now we have to win the war! 
Step Three:
Trim the seam allowances that were just sewn. Trim the facing seam allowance to 3/8", and the skirt seam allowance to 1/4" (no seam allowances will show through the skirt if you do this). 

Yay! Step Four:

Press the seam allowances open, and then edge stitch the facing to it's seam allowance. Pictured below is showing the right side of the facing and skirt. Then press the facing inside the skirt, favoring the skirt edge by 1/8", so that you don't see the seam on the hem at all. You'll be left with a nice clean edge without stitching showing.

Last step! Step Five:
Use the blind stitch on your machine to secure the facing to the skirt. Pin this well before you stitch so that the blind stitch is parallel to the edge (very professional). You'll notice with hemming with a facing that you won't get any wrinkles in the hem, because a lot of skirt hem circumferences are either larger or smaller than the circumference of the hem point on the skirt. I'm telling you, making a hem facing is where it's at. Below is what the facing will look like on the inside once you're done.


  1. I bought a fantastic dress last week, only problem is that it is a bit short. I want to let out my hem, but still have a clean edge at the bottom. I have been trying to figure out a solution to my problem all week and here it is. Thank you thank you thank you :) I'm going to add a hem facing with a blind stitch. You are a sewing rockstar!

  2. KK, that is such a good point that I never thought of! The hem facing is such a great way to lengthen a dress! Love it! Please send me picks when you are done!!!