Ah, the full skirt – so beautiful, but so annoying to hem! Whether you are having to ease in the fullness with a deeper hem, or trimming and burning your fingers with a baby hem, I wasn’t sure there was a good solution. I read a tip somewhere to use a serger to make the turning easier, and I developed this method. It’s so quick and easy in comparison! The finish on this method is pretty much the same as a baby hem. A serger is required for this method. Any serger will do! Mine is a Brother 1034D, a model which is often under $200 (I bought mine off craigslist for $80.) I cannot recommend owning a serger enough, because there are so many little shortcuts like this one!
You should leave about a 3/4″ hem allowance for this method, though that is customizable by trimming more with the serger. You do not have to trim while serging, but I find that I get a more even row of stitching that way. Set your serger for a 3 thread overlock stitch, and make sure to test some swatches – the row of serging will be the depth of your hem, and you should aim for between 1/8″ and 1/4″. After you’ve set your serger, I like to begin taking a snip in my hem 1/4″ up. I will be trimming 1/4″ off my hem while serging, and I find it easier to get started this way, if the skirt is joined in a circle.
Take your skirt to the serger, and serge off 1/4 inch all the way around the hem.
Press your serging flat to set the stitches.
Now we are going to fold the hem. Place your skirt on the ironing board, with the right side facing up. You are going to turn the serged edge under and press it in place. It should fold very easily along the serging. Make sure you have the fabric RS up – it’s much harder to do this WS up, because it doesn’t stay in place as well.
After you have pressed under the entire hem, turn your skirt inside out. Now you are going to press in the second fold, with the WS facing up. Turn up the fabric, making sure to tuck the edge all the way into the fold – otherwise, you might miss a layer when sewing the hem.
Don’t use any pins, which can cause bumps. Instead, use your fingers to make sure the hem is still tucked under as you feed it through the machine, wrong side up. I’m sewing about 1/8″ from the edge. (If your fabric won’t hold a crease, you will have to pin. Just be sure to remove the pins before they get close to the foot!) This is a good time to use your straight stitch plate, if you have one (I don’t have one on this machine, so I’m using a regular zigzag foot and plate.)
Press and admire your pretty hem!
I find that hems sewn this way have a nice amount of stiffness, due to the extra thread, and hold their shape nicely without a crinoline. Please let me know if you have any questions, or if anything seems unclear!
15 thoughts on “Tutorial: Hemming a full skirt (with the help of your serger)”
That’s awesome! Thankyou so much for posting this tutorial- I’ll be doing this for my next full skirt definately 🙂
I do the same thing with my regular sewing machine and with a zig zag stitch. Works wonderfully!
I just got a serger for Christmas! Thank you, this was so helpful. Would have helped me when I tried hemming my last full skirt. Now I know what to do for the next!
This is a great idea. I hate hemming circle skirts, so this looks like a great method to try.
I can’t thank you enough for posting this! I have been cowardly avoiding hemming Vogue 8615 because of the skirt, but now I might just get that wrapped up this weekend.
What a fabulous tutorial! This is one of the reasons I love my serger so much…it does help get a better curved hem finish.
Thank you for this tutorial! I actually avoid making circle skirts because I would hate hemming them, but I’ll try this method from now on.
Thanks for the pics. You make it look so easy. I will try that soon.
I just got a serger, and I don´t know half of all the great things it can do still, so this tutorial comes right on time for me. Thanks a bunch!
Thank you. I have a black crepe dress that is mid calf and I want it just below the knee. I will give it a go. I hear that the new style is to be just below the knee. I say Hooray!, as I am 70 and my knees look better covered! Peg
davidkayeattorney.com Thanks for that awesome posting. It saved MUCH time 🙂
I’m so happy I found your tutorial ~ I had so much trouble hemming full skirts and I was able to finally hem two! This is a great tutorial!
Well, you can read reviews on UseMyReviews too.