Tips for How to Hem Circle Skirts

on May 31 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 11 Comments

Following up on her hit Triangle Pocket Tote tutorial, Michelle from Falafel and the Bee is back! This time Michelle gives her best tips for hemming circle skirts. (Get ready with that iron!) With Michelle’s advice will help you’ll tackle sewing summer skirts with ease.

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Hello, again, Sew Mama Sew readers! Michelle from Falafel and the Bee here, and I want to help you take on a sewing technique that can be a little intimidating: Hemming Circle Skirts.

I know.

Really, though, once you do it with these helpful hints, you are going to wonder why you were scared to ever try this in the first place!

Let’s get started. Grab your favorite circular skirt/dress pattern and sew it up.

Tip Number One is choose a cotton/woven fabric with a little “give.” What this usually means is a small spandex content. Usually the quality cotton fabrics will have this, and it makes this whole thing go a lot smoother.

Let me tell you (Tip Number Two), this is going to be a whole lot of ironing. So get comfortable. I usually put on some good music or a wonderfully bad movie that I have seen before (that I don’t have to actually watch, just listen to), or I have even set up outside because we have an outlet out there. Just plan on being there for a while.

Lay the circle skirt wrong side facing up on your ironing board. Take just a small section at a time, and fold over about 1/4″. Iron pretty closely behind, but not close enough to get burned! Also, my fabric is cotton, so I cranked the steam up a bit to hold that pretty fabric in place.

Tip Number Three is GO SLOWLY. Seriously. I know I said it before, but I think it is worth repeating. If it doesn’t lay right the first time, I fidget with it until it does. You may find that massaging the fabric in place (or gently rolling back and forth) does wonders. I call this “fabric aerobics.” Bend and pull. Reach and stretch. You never want to iron it straight across. Follow those curves!

When you get back to where you began, I find it helpful to gently pull on the fabric on the other side to make it all line up (that would be Tip Number Four). Iron it down, and start again. Fold hem over another 1/4″ and go around, slowly once more.

Sew it in place (again, go slowly… I promise it is worth it). Did I mention to go slowly? Ha! It should look something like this when you are done:

There should be no wrinkles, and you should have a professional looking hem!

I chose the Amaryllis Dress by Blank Slate Patterns. It is like two 3/4 circle skirts sewn together. It makes for one full, twirly skirt!

Happy Twirling!

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11 Responses to Tips for How to Hem Circle Skirts

  1. Lynne says:

    Can you tell me what fabric that is?…fabric collection and manufacturer please

    • Michelle says:

      It is called Feather Flock by Tina Givens for Free spirit
      Westminster Fibers

      I love it! It was on clearance in a shop where I live, so not sure where to find it.
      Good Luck!

  2. tjasa says:

    But i see many hem wrinkles on the final photo. What went wrong? Maybe it is not possible to make it smooth with this technique.

    • Michelle says:

      The hem flipped up due to movement of my incredibly active girl. The hem is completely smooth all around.

    • Diana says:

      I thought so too. Though I find the ironing part a must, and you should get in the habit of ironing open seams anyway- i tell you, one day I will take my own advice. Lol. But I still get some puff or puckers in the circle. But it does look better than my sometimes creased spots.

  3. LaDonna Shelley says:

    Thanks for your help!!!!

  4. Tammy says:

    Great tips! If you have a serger, serge the hem and then use that as a gauge to fold the first fold over.

    Another way to hem circle skirts is to use bias tape. It makes a nice finish, and if you get all fancy you can even make bias tape out of the fabric the skirt is made of.

    • Michelle says:

      I so wish I had a serger! That sounds like a good way to do it too!

  5. Dana says:

    I am always ironing a lot while sewing, slowly and feeling like a crazy perfectionist, wondering if it’s all necessary. It is. Your tutorial helped me to realize I’m not alone. Yes, the old movies, that you don’t really have to watch, help quite a bit. Thanks

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