How to Hem Slippery Fabrics


How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

I had some tailoring work to do and this shirt posed a particular problem. The fabric was soft ,slippery and it would not hold a press. It was far too scalloped to use a hem foot or attachment. The shirt was longer in the front and back and higher on the sides. I tried hand turning a 1/4″ double turn but the fabric was so slippery I couldn’t get an even turn. Then I remembered this tip I had picked up.

First I cut the shirt to desired length plus 1/2″.

first turn

Next I turned up 1/4″  and stitched very close to the fold.

vew of first turn

Here is what that will look like. Sew the whole hem line.

start second turn

Now it’s time for the second pass. Turn up another 1/4″ . This pass will be sewn on the other side of the  1/4″ turn. Ideally you will sew directly over your previous stitching.

second turn

Keep turning a bit at a time. you may not be able to work more than an inch or two at a time. It should look flat as you are sewing.

pin tip

This shirt had a fairly dramatic curve. I used a pin to hold it in place as I sewed. You could also use a Sewing Awl. This lets you hold hold things flat very close to the needle without risking injury. It  also allows you a better view of your work.

before press

Do not be dismayed as you turn it over and see all these ripples. All it needs is a good press.

after press

Much better!


This is the finished result. A little extra care was well worth it.