7 Steps to Sewing the Perfect Curved Hem

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How To Sew A Curved Hem

How to hem a circle skirt



Basting the hem

  • To sew a curved hem, start by making sure the skirt or dress is nicely pressed, with no wrinkles in the raw hem area.
  • Switch your sewing machine to a basting stitch. Mine is a digital sewing machine and comes with a built in basting stitch but if you don’t have one, or your sewing machine is not digital, you can choose the longest stitch on your machine. I think a 4 would work just fine. If you’re a beginner and don’t know what basting means, a basting stitch is a line of temporary long running stitches, made by either hand or machine. A basting stitch holds the fabric together before permanent stitches are applied and is removed after the permanent stitch is applied.
  • Stitch 1/4″ from the edge, all around the hem.

Hemming a circle skirt

  • Fold right on the newly sewn stitch line, using this basting stitch as a guide.
  • Press and remove the basting stitch.
  • Stitch again, 1/8″ away from the edge, using the same basting stitch (ignore my pins, they’re pinned the wrong way and also try and don’t be as sloppy as I was). This stitch is optional and is meant to help you keep the hem nice and tidy while you move to the next steps. This is particularly helpful for beginners but if you’re more advanced, you can skip this stitch and move to the next step.

How to hem a curve

Sewing the final hem

  • Measure 1″ away from the edge, towards the interior of the skirt and mark with a fabric marker. This is where the seam gauge comes in very handy! This will be your guide for the double hem.
  • Fold the edge up so it touches the line you just marked.
  • Place pins a few inches apart and add a couple more in between those.
  • Sew the final hem as close to the edge as you can (I used a 1/16″ seam allowance). Sew slow and don’t worry if you experience some puckering while sewing. Just guide the fabric under the needle using a pin, making sure not to catch the pin with the needle.

How to make a curved hem

Finishing touches

  • Remove the basting stitch.
  • Use plenty of steam and press firmly moving the iron up and down; this will smooth out any tiny puckering that you weren’t able to eliminate while sewing. After ironing your curved hem should look completely free of puckering. If you use lightweight fabric you won’t even notice the puckering.

hemming a circle skirt

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial on how to hem a curve and found it easy enough to give it a try on your next project that requires a curved hem. As the hem is the last to be sewn when finishing a garment, it is better not to rush into it, because you may ruin the final result and spend even more time fixing the mistake.

Pin to save for later

Photo collage of a curved hem of a circle skirt

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about petro


Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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  1. Hello Petro. I’m finding you site really interesting. Thank you. I am not very experienced at all with using a sewing machine.
    My husband would like me to make a canvas top to fit an old World War Two German Maultier Truck.
    Believe me, if I can pull this off it will score me a stupid amount of points 😊
    Any advice or help you could give me would be extremely helpful

  2. Thank you so much for this excellent tutorial. My favorite part was the video. My grandmother taught me this many years ago when I was16-17 years old. I haven’t sewn circle hems much, but when I read and watched your tutorial, I felt like I was back in my grandmother’s house learning from a master seamstress.

  3. Excellent tutorial. One additional step I learned many years ago was to use that last basting stitch to resolve any extra fabric folds that can occur with round hems. If the turned up hem does not lie flat just use a straight pin to pull on your basting thread. Then spread that area out till flat. Lays nicely as you sew your final hem line.

  4. Thank you so much for the excellent tutorial i have been struggling so much but this has helped me .

    1. Aww! Thank you, Julie for your nice comment! It makes me so happy when my readers find my tutorials easy and instructive! xoxo

  5. I keep going to your Easy Peasy Creative Ideas, I click the one for crafts and put in the code and they send me to google. Why?

    1. Hi Ellen. I’m sorry, I have no answer to this. There aren’t any other people reporting issues so not sure what might go wrong. Would you be able to record a short video of the steps you take and send it to my email address at petro@theseamanmom.com?

  6. I am making a poodle skirt and I had forgotten this technique from grade school home ec, and my mom. She is no longer here to ask, and she was an excellent seamstress. So thank you very much for your tutorial. It is very clear and concise and the pics are awesome! I think my daughter will look lovely in her poodle skirt!

    1. Thanks so much, Melissa! Your comment made my day! I’m happy I could help with my tutorial and hope you’ll find more useful tips on the site in the future! xoxo

  7. Wow….this has bin very appreciated. Tried d curve hem your way nd it came out much better than i could imagine. Thank you for this.
    By the way, this comment is comin all d way from Nigeria, Africa. Your work is seen and appreciaed world wide. Thank you.

  8. Thanks for this tutorial. I found your site from Pinterest. I have tried sewing curved hems on a three ruffle half apron and it was such a pain to do. Now that I have found your tutorial I think I can face those curved edges with a new perspective. Thanks again and have a blessed day!

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Wilma. Please read the post again as the final step is right before the final press you have mentioned. You are probably confudsed by the pins showing in that image; I did sew over them and you can see the stitch in that image.

  9. If you make that first stitching a basting stitch, then you can pull the thread to ease the fullness – just like you would a set in sleeve (or, if you haven’t done that, a gathered skirt). Makes it much easier.

    1. Exactly.
      Sometimes just pinning and seeing won’t remove enough puckers. I have used an ear such many times 😊