Hem Sewing Guide – a free Ebook

Garment design is all about the details. The decisions involved in seam finishing, fabric selection and seam placement and all those other fun things inside the garment that no one will ever see or recognize but the maker themselves can add value to your garment and take the quality up from wear-it-for-a-week fast-fashion trash to high cost clothing.

The humble hem can seem like an afterthought when designing a garment, but when it comes to finishing it becomes the location of a pivotal point in the realization process of your idea. There are many many, many hem finishing techniques and choices – each depending on your design and fabric choice and it can seem wholly overwhelming when faced with that daunting raw edge.

LUCKILY the lovely ladies over at Colette Patterns have taken the time to research, make samples and create this wonderful FREE guide to hem finishes. Aren’t they so kind? They start with machine finishes, run down the good ‘ol hand stitches, and finish with the most difficult and advanced (read: fancy) finishes like the extremely elegant Mitered Corner.  Be sure to check out their blog, The Coletterie for more tutorials, tips & tricks. Finally, for all of the effort they put in to making this guide for you I wouldn’t be doing them justice if I didn’t also point you in the direction of their PDF patterns, which are quite lovely and affordable. They have put together quite the business for themselves! Thanks, ladies!


無題handstitchesmachinehems miteredcorners

Now that you have had a look through their lovely guide, lets do quick test to practice.

Have a look at these images and think about the hem finishes and what they could have done to create the look they have. What would or could you have done differently for a different look?


Just a rolled edge, perhaps? Or even no finishing and raw edge?


A facing? Or perhaps laser-cut? Try to imagine what the fabric is composed of and what the structure will allow you to do with it.

hems 2

Think about angle, texture, length, width, layering and balance

hems 3 jagged-hems-runway-001 large

How does the hem finish contribute to these designs?

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