Lonsdale Sew-Along #15: Hemming

Hurrah! We’re almost finished our Lonsdale Dresses. All that’s left is a little hemming!

Today I’ll show you how to hem the dress. You can hem it any way you like! Sew a blind hem by hand, or sew a machine-stitched hem if you don’t mind the stitch line showing.

For my project, I’m applying bright red seam binding to my hem for a surprise touch of colour.

Catching up? Here are all of the earlier sew-along posts!

First, iron the seam binding flat. No, very first, decide if you want to shorten your dress at all, or if you’re happy with the length! Then iron the seam binding flat.

We’ll pin the seam binding along the raw edge of our hem, covering the edge with about half of the seam binding.

Sew the seam binding close to the edge. I changed my thread to red so it would match! I did leave the bobbin with blue thread. For better results, change both threads to a matching colour! Or if you like the look of contrast stitching, leave your main thread in.

Fold under the hem allowance, and press. I love this bright red trim!

Pin all around the hem, to hold it up while you sew it in place. Using a hand-sewing needle, sew the hem in place with a catch-stitch.

In the photos below, I’ve show the two steps to catch-stitching. On the left, we’re taking a small bite out of the seam binding, with the needle pointing to the left. Then on the right, we’re catching just a thread of our main fabric (I took a bit more, so you could see it in the photo) again with the needle to the left. Repeat these steps until your dress is hemmed!

Well, I’m off to finish my hem. Hand-sewing is fun, as long as you don’t get impatient! Relax and enjoy making tidy, invisible stitches.. while you think about how exciting it will be to wear your new dress!

Have a lovely weekend everyone! Can’t wait to see your finished dresses!

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15 Responses to Lonsdale Sew-Along #15: Hemming

  1. Marie August 12, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    Hi Tasia, can I ask how wide your seam binding is please?

  2. Tasia August 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    @Marie: Hi Marie! It’s about 1.5cm wide – or 5/8″ wide! Hope this helps. You could use binding of any width really, although if you choose something too wide, it won’t curve and bend.

  3. Val August 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I like that kind of hem! DEFINITELY going to hem my MOG dress like that. Thanks!

  4. Catholic Bibliophagist August 12, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    How curved is the hem for this dress? (I’m not making it which is why I don’t know) The reason I ask, is that the last time I tried using seam binding on a curved hem it wouldn’t lie flat but was rippled. Do you make little pleats in it? Does it ease in?

  5. Tasia August 12, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    @Catholic Bibliophagist: Mine’s a little rippled, but it doesn’t bother me. If you use lace instead of seam binding (the type of lace trim that comes in packages) it will bend more easily around the curves.
    You can make little pleats in it – I have been doing that as I sewed. Bias tape would also work, and it would bend nicely along the curves.

    It’s not super curved like a circle skirt, but it is a slightly curved hem. Hope this helps!

  6. Holly August 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    t looks beautiful so far, can’t wait to see all the finished dresses! I’m curious, why do you hand sew the hem instead of use the blind hem stitch on a machine? I’ve been doing a lot of hand sewing on my dresses (on the waistbands, cuffs and collars) but i’ve never hand sewn a hem, seems daunting :)

  7. Tasia August 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm #

    @Holly: Hi Holly! I hand-sewed it because I wanted to use the seam binding.. and because not everyone has a blind hem stitch foot, so I wanted to do something that everyone could follow along with! It wasn’t too bad, it’s a flared skirt but not too full, so it didn’t take too long.
    I love the blind-hem function, it’s so much faster and makes nice, evenly spaced ‘dots’ where the hem picks up a thread of the skirt front!

  8. Bella August 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    I love your blog, even though I’m not sewing along. I learn so many new things. This is a great way to hem. I don’t ever like machine-hemming because it always seems to get bumpy. I look forward to trying this if I ever figure out where my sewing machine is (we just moved).

  9. Pauline August 14, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Hi Tasia, I made the entire dress today (only the zipper is missing) but I already know it’s going to be one of my favourite dresses. Your blog really is helpfull, I learned lots of technics, thank you!
    That’s the third dress I made based on your designs (2 models of the Twin Spruce Dress and the Lonsdale) and I guess I’ll make it in different colours. For this one, I used a fuschia with white flowers linen.
    Can’t wait to wear it!!!
    Thanks from France.

  10. Caroline August 14, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    I just finished mine!! I love this pattern and especially loved your advice about pinning the zipper and checking the fit. Mine was perfect as is. There will definitely be more versions. I’ll be posting photos in the next few days.

  11. MJ August 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm #

    C’mon Tasia………….I’m waiting for the TA DA moment. I want to see the finished dress.


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