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A Couture Hand-Rolled Hem | Video

This technique is easy to master and produces beautiful results

Couture expert and Threads Contributing Editor Susan Khalje shares a method for hand-sewing a narrow rolled hem worthy of any Parisian fashion house. She offers tips on setting up the hand-rolled hem project so there’s some tension on the hem, and she demonstrates the ladder stitch. This simple stitch magically rolls the fabric edge into a smooth, even finish.

If you prefer a machine-sewn narrow hem, try Kenneth D. King’s version, explained in “Rolled Hem with a Sewing Machine and Serger.”

Susan is a couture sewing expert who shares her knowledge as a teacher, author, and Threads contributing editor. She founded The Couture Sewing School in Baltimore, Maryland, 25 years ago, and it’s still going strong. She is the author of Bridal Couture: Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear (Krause, 1997) and Linen and Cotton: Classic Sewing Techniques for Great Results (The Taunton Press, 1999). Among her numerous Threads articles on couture sewing techniques are:

Essential Techniques: Pickstitched lapped zipper” in Threads #185, June/July 2016

Couture Lace Skirt” in Threads #175, Oct./Nov. 2014

Sculpt with Pleats” in Threads #173, June/July 2014

“Fastening Go Undercover” in Threads #168, Aug./Sept. 2013

“Build a Better Waistband” in Threads #165, Feb./March 2013.


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  1. Mihaela_Cristina | | #1

    Thank you Susan for this great tip!

  2. dahanit | | #2

    Thank you! So easy to do, and creates a beautiful hem!

  3. User avater
    sunnylutz | | #3

    love this tip. I've never seen this ladder stitch before and will be sure to use it in the future. Thank you!

  4. khaight | | #4

    This was extremely helpful. I used this on a silk shibori scarf from Japan. It was like magic when I pulled the thread and not difficult at all. Thank you Susan.

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