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How to Interface a Hem

This interfaced hem technique keeps stitches from showing on the garment’s right side and adds body and weight to the hemline to make it fall perfectly. The interfaced hem can be used in a straight skirt, pants, or jacket hem, and it can be made in various widths.

hem allowance fold and press

Serge or otherwise finish the garment’s raw edge, and then press the hem allowance into position. Usually a 1 1/2-inch to 2-inch hem allowance is normal for a skirt or pant hem.

Cut two pieces of interfacing on the bias the length of the garment’s circumference and at least 3-inches wide.

Place the right (nonglue) sides together, align the long edges, and pin through both thicknesses to hold them in place.

prep interfacing with stitch line

Pull both the bobbin and top sewing machine threads out about 10-inches. Hold this thread tail as you start stitching. Set the stitch length at 3.5 mm. Sew the two layers together about 1/2-inches away from one of the long edges.

The sewing machine presser foot doesn’t like to sew over the glue side of interfacing. The length of the two layers of interfacing often gather and don’t produce an even seam along the two long edges. It’s difficult to get the straightest stitching line when sewing on the glue side of interfacing. When you are finished stitching, leave another long thread tail. When you’re finished sewing the edge, gently pull the interfacing flat, ‘eating’ up both ends of the threads tails.

With a rotary cutter accurately trim the double interfacing layers. Trim so the stitching is approximately 1/4 inch away from the edge. The other long edge of the double interfacing is cut slightly narrower than the hem allowance width (to allow the turn of the cloth). However deep the hem measures, the width of…

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  1. steffie632 | | #1

    I haven't tried this as of yet. Sewed about 40 years ago, want to get into it again.
    This is a good tip to remember for interfacing; oh by the way, I have never done, so this is a good place for me to start.

  2. User avater
    TextyleMaven | | #2

    I've often interfaced hems in coats, jackets, slacks and some dresses but I've never tried this system. I'm looking forward to trying it ! Thanks for a great idea

  3. lademom | | #3

    I usually have trouble getting the fusible interfacing to stay "stuck". Or the glue comes through on the right side of the fabric, ruining everything. Any tips on what's going wrong? The tutorial sounds great, but I doubt my ability to actually make it work at home.

  4. User avater
    Delwyn | | #4

    Could you use one double width of interfacing and fold it where the stitching would be, eliminating the need to sew at all?

  5. sewbuttons | | #5

    This looks like a great technique! What kind of interfacing did you use?

  6. User avater
    Helen_in_Toronto | | #6

    Thanks! I've been doing this for a long time.
    A few tips:
    1. For thinnner/softer fabrics, I like to use a knit non-woven interfacing: it's softer and more flexible. (Doesn't create a siff look at the hem.
    2. For some fabrics, one layer of interfacing is enough. I iron it to the hem edge.
    3. To get the glue to stick, spray the fabric and the interfacing with water, and use a pressing cloth, and hold the iron in place for several minutes to get the glue melted.
    4. For thin fabrics, test, on a scrap, to see if the glue bleeds" through.
    5. This technique is also good for sleeve hems.
    6. I just iron on the interfacing. No sewing involved.

  7. User avater
    user-756196 | | #7

    I am sewing a retro style taffeta dress for my daughter. It has a circular skirt. This idea for the hem would give a bit more body to it. Any suggestions on how to apply this technique to a circular hem?

  8. sailcocktail | | #8

    I could see using this when bagging a jacket lining, by sewing the lining bottom edge between the two pieces of interfacing, then proceeding with fusing the interfacing inside the fashion fabric hem.

  9. kne5017894 | | #9

    Somestitch. for that application, I would think narrow horsehair might give the best movement.

  10. kne5017894 | | #10

    Somestich, I might try old-fashioned narrow horsehair braid for that application.

  11. user-1135487 | | #11

    I just learned a tip in another class about fusing interfacing. After following the manufacturers directions for heat and duration...you need to let the fabric cool undisturbed to let the glue set properly. If you handle too soon, you can ruin the fuse.

  12. User avater
    Helen_in_Toronto | | #12

    For a circular or bias skirt, if you plan to use a woven interfacing, cut the interfacing on the bias too. If it's a knit interfacing, cut it on the hroizontal, to get the maximum stretch.

  13. User avater
    scarlet | | #13

    Just curious but why not just fold a piece of bias cut interfacing (double the width of the hem minus 1/8 to 1/4" for the turn of the hem instead of sewing 2 pieces together?
    Am I missing something about the necessity of using 2 pieces and sewing them together?
    (Great idea, btw. I'm going to use it)

  14. User avater
    scarlet | | #14

    *turn of the cloth - NOT turn of the hem.

  15. User avater
    Helen_in_Toronto | | #15

    Re past from Scarlett:

    Ref: Just curious but why not just fold a piece of bias cut interfacing (double the width of the hem minus 1/8 to 1/4" for the turn of the hem instead of sewing 2 pieces together?
    Am I missing something about the necessity of using 2 pieces and sewing them together?

    I don't get it either.

    I just do it my way. See my other post.

  16. jumptoit | | #16

    It is important to make a test sample before using this technique on your garment in order to be sure to use the correct type and weight interfacing for your fabric and style of garment.

  17. Tenny68 | | #17

    I have used this method after seeing Louise Cutting video she made for Threads. I am now working on a bias cut skirt and I will use her weighted hem method of sewing close to the edge of the hem and turning several times to add weight with the thread and a tiny narrow hem at the same time.

  18. user-1111732 | | #18

    to Helen in Toronto, re your question about why it is necessary to use 2 pieces of interfacing instead of just folding a single piece:

    Probably it is because, since the interfacing is cut on the bias, if you use a single folded piece the 2 folded thicknesses will have their threads running in the opposite directions (i.e., one layer's threads will be running top left to bottom right, the other layer's threads will be running top right to bottom left; they will be "bias in the opposite directions.") Maybe this makes a difference in how the interfacing stretches?

  19. Carolebarrel | | #19

    If a garment requires dry cleaning, this can make the hem give way. I still prefer blind stitching a hem regardless of how little the stitches show. Hard to trust some synthetics still.....

  20. User avater
    user-137240 | | #20

    Let me pop in here to answer some of the questions that have been asked in the comments.

    I only recommend woven, knit, or weft interfacing. Nonwoven interfacing has a tendency to pill when it is placed in between layers of fabric, and especially when two layers are 'facing' each other.

    You have to stitch the interfacing together, glue side out, if it is not stitched, the interfacing will not hold the hem up and in place. I have dry cleaned many garments using this interfaced hem, and have never had it pull apart. A quality interfacing has to be applied correctly using: heat, moisture, pressure, and time.

    You can not use one continuous folded piece of interfacing, A sharp crease would have to be at the hem fold and with the glue on the outside of the interfacing there is no way to press this fold in.

    Using the rotary cutter to cut the interfacing just shy of the hem depth gives you the best result for this technique.

    If you are planning on lining a garment, the two layers of interfacing should be stitched 1/2" - 5/8" away from one edge. This row of stitching will be toward the top edge of the hem. The the lining can be machine stitched to the fashion fabric hem above this stitching line on the interfacing.

    I think this answered all the comments and questions I read here.


  21. User avater
    maddie964 | | #21

    what a great tip! I'm working on a project right now where I could use this for the short and top. thanks!

  22. User avater
    RosemaryDesigns | | #22

    I love the idea of this technique- but, what if you need to lengthen the hem, for example?...how do you remove it?

  23. normasews | | #23

    To RosemaryDesigns - Sometimes you can remove the fusible interfacing by heating it up again with the iron. It will re-melt the glue, and you may be able to pull it off. Sometimes it doesn't work.

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