Magic Hem

If you ever wanted a dress without that top stitching to finish off that hem, then this is the tutorial for you!


I love this hem when I am making a garment that I want to have a more elegant look or if I don’t want to wire out the hem too much with a hard stitch.  I sew and invisible hem like this with a cross-stitch by hand.

Hello large images!  I wanted to make sure you could see 🙂

For starters, prepare you hem.  Be sure to balance the hem if you have pleating, weirdly-shaped skirt gores or just to be sure.   You can either serge and turn or turn-turn the hem up.  Press well and pin to hold it in place.  Also, thread up a needle and tie a knot at ONE end.  You only need 1-thread thickness for this, so don’t tie both ends of the thread together.  Also, make sure the thread color blends in well with your fabric.
crosshem (2) crosshem (3)

Okay, here we go.  Are you ready?  Because you are going to be stitching BACKWARDS.  Weird, huh?
Be sure to gather up all your patience and practice a little first if you’d like.

Take a “bite” of your fabric, preferably at a seam to hide the knot.
crosshem (4)

As you can see, you can NOT see the stitch from the other side.  It is simply “biting” the seam allowance and hem allowance.
crosshem (5)

Now, with your needle facing backwards, grab a SMALL bite of the fabric 1/2″ away, right above the hem allowance.
crosshem (6)

Then grab a bite of the hem allowance 1/2″ away.  Keep that needle facing the wrong way.
crosshem (7)

And a TINY bite of the fabric again…
crosshem (8)

And so on and so forth.
crosshem (9)

If you are consistent and taking small bites, your hem will look like this on the opposite side.
crosshem (1)

Keep going until you make it all the way around.  Don’t try to make it on one thread!  If you run out of thread, tie a knot, rethread your needle and keep going.  Press it from the inside after you finish.


I’m wearing this dress tomorrow, given the weather doesn’t decide to go before zero degrees again.  Can’t wait to show you all!


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