Sewing Vloggers

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Piped Hem Tutorial

I love this hem treatment and use it a lot. I originally found this in an old Threads, Issue # 73, and have been using it ever since. It is good on sheers but I really like it on crisp fabrics.

#1 - Fold the fabric up to the RIGHT side 1/4 inch and press.You can see I have a template I have made out of oaktag and it is two inches wide and marked at the 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch widths. Its great to press up these small hems. I then remove the oaktag and press flat again.

#2 - Fold the fabric up again to the RIGHT side 1/4 inch. Press again.

#3 - Stitch directly down the center of the fold. In the photo I have a sheer poly organza, a handkerchief linen, and two quilters cottons, from right to left. On the organza, I would suggest using a size 10 needle and a fine embroidery thread. It would hide the stitches much better. I have used a blue thread here so you can see what's happening.

#4 - Flip the fold to the wrong side. Press. This is when it turns into a piped edge.

In this picture you can see the completed hems. On the hanky linen, it is perfect. On the turquoise dot, you can see that the wrong side makes the piping and this must be taken into consideration. A homespun fabric or any print that is the same on either side, will give you the piping the same as the right side of the fashion fabric. In the dark teal print, once again the wrong side makes the piped edge. But in this case it is a dark matching teal that really makes a nice accent. I think that is because it is a solid, not a wrong side print. So what works poorly in the light colored print can actually be and advantage in a different print. In the organza you can see everything! So careful stitching and thread matching become very important.

I have found this to work just as well with fabric cut on the bias as it is the turning and pressing that makes this edge. It just takes a little more care, as bias always does.

I would love to hear if any of you try this and how it turns out........Bunny


  1. Interesting! I can definitely see trying this out sometime. Thanks.

  2. I can't wait to try this. What a time saver it could be, and pretty at the ame time

  3. Love the idea, but is the pressing enough by itself to keep it in place or do you also run another line of stitching just above the "piping"?

  4. I have had no problem with the hems turning and have used this a lot. To run another line of stitching would, in my opinion, detract from it's heirloom look. I have used this on only really lightweight fabrics. I think a heavier fabric with a not so narrow width could make it turn, a matter of gravity! But for hemming a chiffon skirt or silk taffeta, it is great.

  5. These piped hems are a versatile addition to any project, and the insight into how the wrong side can add a unique touch is invaluable. Thanks for sharing this technique—it's a valuable addition to my knowledge which can be a great pre-production guide as I plan and experiment with different fabric finishes!


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