Now that we've finally released our app that figures out the circle skirt maths for you, whipping up a circle skirt couldn't be easier or more mindless, right? Well, right-ish... We've done the math for you, shown you how to insert those pesky little invisible zippers and attach a perfect waistband, but what about the hem?? Circle skirts, by nature, have a curved hem, which can be trickier to finish off flawlessly than a standard fold-it-over-twice-press-it-stitch-it straight hem. The reason being that the raw edge is fuller than where we're trying to hem it into. Not only do we have to gently ease this fullness in, but we also have to try and maintain that perfect curve at the same time. So, in the interest of making the hemming process more of a pleasure and less of a pain, we have put together three easy and foolproof ways to hem a curve...
#1: Perfectly folded hem, à la Polly Top
Good for: Flawless precision
This technique gives the same finish as a normal turned up twice hem, but involves a little set-up trick to make the whole process run a lot smoother...
Sew a line of stitching 1/4" from the raw edge, all along the hemline.
Using that line of stitching as your guide, press the hem in.
Now press the hemline in again using plenty of steam (if your fabric can hack it! Always test it before pressing the real thing), using the raw edge this time as your guide. Pin into place ready to be stitched.
Either machine stitch into place, lining up the folded edge of your fabric with the righthand edge of your presser foot, or blind stitch by hand.
#2: Tape hem
Good for: Pretty innards; giving body and bounce to a lightweight skirt
Find a length of decorative tape or ribbon, long enough to cover the entire length of your hem plus a couple of centimetres extra to tuck under the raw edges where they meet. The tape should be no wider than 2cm.
Pin it to the hemline, wrong side of the tape facing the right side of the skirt, and with half the width of the tape sticking out beyond the hemline.
Stitch into place along the top edge of the tape. This is how it should look from the right side...
...and from the wrong side:
Now press the tape up, and pin into place.
Stitch into place, either by machine or by hand, et voilà! The prettiest hem you ever saw.
#3: Overlocked/serged hem
Good for: knit fabrics; teeny tiny hems when you've accidentally made your skirt too short!
Overlock the raw hemline.
Press the hem in once and pin to secure, ready to be stitched.
Stitch into place.
And there you go - hopefully this tutorial will have shed a little light and opened up some fun options for hemming your circle skirts. Do also check out our rolled hem tutorial - another ideal for curved hems, especially silken ones!