11/30 | How to Sew a Hem That Is Perfect Every Time

This may be the most common technique needed in sewing. I want you all to have the most success in your sewing projects as possible because I know from experience that it is way more fun when your projects turn out well. So in this post, I am going to completely break down how to sew a hem that is perfect every time. I think there are a lot of sewing tutorials and sewing patterns for beginners that will just say “sew a hem” or “hem the bottom.” When you are new to sewing, that can be super intimidating and make you feel like you can’t complete the project. I totally get that because I have been there myself. Here is how I do all of my hemmings and I am excited to share it with you so you know how to sew a hem that is perfect every time.

You are going to want to start out by making your own hem guide! Yes- that’s right, there is such a thing as a hem guide and you can make your own right now.

To make your own hem guide all you need to do is find a piece of cardboard or chipboard- a cereal bow works perfectly! Use your ruler and draw a line 1/2 inch from the bottom. Draw another line 3/4 inch from the bottom. Then go ahead and mark those line so you know the measurements. Now let’s use it!

You are going to place your fabric or project with the right side facing down and then place the hem guide on top of it towards the bottom. Fold the bottom edge up so that it just touches the 1/2 line on the hem gauge.

With the hem gauge still in place, go ahead and press the edge with the iron. Once that section is pressed. Move the hem gauge down and do it again. Repeat till the whole edge is folded over and pressed.

Repeat the process again but this time bring the folded edge up to the 3/4 inch line.

Head to the sewing machine and sew close to the folded edge. I use a 5/8 seam allowance but it doesn’t have to be super precise. A seam allowance is the distance that you sew from the edge.

Look how clean and beautiful that hem is! Now that you know how to sew a hem that is perfect every time, the possibilities are endless! This new technique is going to give all of your projects a super professional look.

I love that it looks clean and professional on both sides. This definitely takes projects to the next level. Without a nice hem, a project can look unfinished. When I learned to hem was when I started to feel comfortable gifting my sewing creations to others which was a total game changer and goal accomplished for me. I hope you found this tutorial helpful!

58 thoughts on “How to Sew a Hem That Is Perfect Every Time”

  1. I love this idea! I have been sewing for a few years now, but I love how easy this is to keep on hand to use each time you are going to make a hem!
    I’m going to make one!
    Thanks, Joan

  2. Hi
    Love this tutorial but am a bit confused as to why you press it at 1/2” and again at 3/4”.
    Could you please explain this to me?
    Love the DIY hem guide. Will definitely be making one of them.
    Thanks
    Judi

      1. I suppose you could make a line for a 1/4″ first fold, if you prefer. This is a great idea. I’ve been sewing for over 60 years and never came across this idea. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Now at 69 I learn this wonderful tip. When I think of the miles I’ve hemmed with a ruler and pins……… Thank you so much for posting.

  4. Love this tip. I plan to share with our 4H kids that are participating in sewing & textiles project.

  5. My goodness, talk about the most simple ideas being the best!! This is fantastic thank you. I’m making my guide TODAY.
    Chris – Australia 😊👏

    1. Not easily. Maybe if you use in just little segments. Much easier to just mark your hem on the right side of the fabric and press then tuck under, press again and then stitch. Circle hems also need a smaller hem, to deep and they twist in the curved areas.

      Great tutorial. Glad to see someone using a hem tool! It really helps in the pressing process. Also, be sure to let the fabric cool a bit before moving on to the next section, that creates a stronger crease in the fabric.

      1. What’s your recommendation for that? I have these things and still can’t manage to cut a straight line to save my life!

  6. Thank you .I am a learner. not done any sewing since I left school (about a hundred years ago). all advice welcome.

  7. Nice idea! Where in your instructions does the top edge get folded down by 1/4 inch so the raw edge doesn’t show? When you repeat the process at 5/8 marking, it seems as though you are simply changing the depth of the hem to that measurement. Thanks!

    1. She is using the first fold as your 1/4 inch, only she is folding hers with a 1/2 folded under, then a 3/4 inch hem. I myself like the 1/4 inch fold the 1″ hem on most things. This is a great idea and a wonderful trick for beginners. I am not a beginner, but I am going to use this. Thanks to her for her posting.

  8. I’m new at sewing and I’m confused by this, but do like the idea a lot. So if I my pants were say 3 inches to long. Do I mark the cardboard for 3 inches and then press, then cut some off and turn over to hem? I’m sorry, hope this makes sense.

  9. I have been sewing for many years and have never thought to do this. I love your cardboard template. I will be making one immediately. Thank you.

  10. Thank you for the tutorial, I have a difficult time trying to make my husband’s new dress pants one inch shorter with a cuff.

  11. For those of you who use a ¹/4 inch turn down, just mark your board with a 1/4 inch, them either the 3/4 inch hem or 1″ for a bit larger hem.

    Thanks so much for posting this guide. I think beginners and those of us oldies can all use this.

  12. I’ve been trying to make my own hem gauge by using a .5 piece of chipboard and folding Iberit, but it’s too small and fiddly. Your way is so much better! Thanks so much for sharing this.

  13. Love, Love, Love This Awesome Time-Saving Idea. I’m making Kitchen Curtains for a friend and I can’t wait to make this Guide and Give it Whirl.
    Thank You for Sharing 😊

    P.S. I can’t help thinking, “Why didn’t ‘I’ think of that”?

  14. Great idea. I’ve been sewing for more than 30 years and have never used this way of hemming, but you can bet I’ll be using it now! Thank you.
    You may want to go back and spell check your post, though, starting with the title. There are several typos and it diminishes your credibility to have improper grammar and spelling.

  15. I am so happy I found you.
    I have lots of pants I never used for years, because of the needed hem adjustment.
    Now I will be doing the hems of several pairs of pants and finally using them.
    thank you again

  16. I’ve.sewed for a long time using the metal hem guide. Boy is this a great idea and saves so many steps! Thamk you!

  17. My sewing skills have never been great, but I’m trying to improve them. This hint was SUCH a help for me! I wasn’t doing a hem, but a casing for elastic at the top of a skirt. I made the hem guide as instructed, lined it up, ironed, and sewed; it made a perfect casing. The skirt turned out beautifully. Thank you so much.

  18. Genius! Now I want to go sew something just to use this technique…haha! Thank you for sharing.

  19. I’ve been sewing for over 60 years, making all my kids’ clothes until they were in grade school and even then made my son’s shirts and my daughter’s outfits. I made choir dresses for 15 girls and of course had to hem them all. And I always used pins and rulers. How much easier this would hae been and how much time it would have saved! I made all my daughter’s party dresses, prom dresses, and her wedding dress, the same way! Where were you when I truly needed you! Now I am in the process of making my own dresses and having to hem pants’ legs different lengths because of a crooked spine that makes my clothes about 2 -3 inches shorter in the back and on my left side! Talk about a challenge!

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