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satin – hems/finishing

shev | Posted in General Sewing Info on

hi 🙂
I’m sewing a dress for my daughter out of polyester satin, which I have never used before (I love my cotton!)

I am finding that I can’t get the hems to iron completely flat, they have a little body to them, and the fold is not sharp-sharp. could I use a little iron-on-webbing to hold the hem in place? would that stay in even after laundry? would it show from the right side of the dress?

I am asking about the hems on the seamlines, not the bottom of the skirt 🙂

do I need to control the edges of the fabric in any way to stop them from unravelling?

I am torn between making this a beautifully constructed dress, and remembering that it is for an 8-year-old (!), and it will be stained about 30 seconds after it goes on…!

thanks for your help,


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    If I understand correctly, you are not getting a sharp press when you press your seams open? At first I thought you were referring to the hem at the bottom of the garment. Polyester has a lot of "bounceback" when it comes to pressing. I think if you have some scraps left, stitch a few seams up and experiment with the iron. You may find you can iron it with a hotter iron, maybe! I would recommend trying to iron your seam open on a hard surface, preferably a seam roll of wood. I use a 1 1/4 inch wooden dowel. You can pick this up at the Depot or Joanns. Steam it well and press hard with the wrong side facing the iron and you. On the dowel the garment falls away from the seams which could otherwise leave an imprint on the front of the garment.

    Personally I would hesitate to use a fusible web. I have seen them melt thru the fabric more than once. Good luck. If I have misunderstood your issue please let me know.

    Edit: This fabric can ravel a lot. You can cut them just on the edge with pinking shears or a rotary pinker. Or you can serge them if you have a serger. Or you can zigzag them with the very far stitch just going off the edge and catching the fabric. If your machine has a three step zigzag thats even better. Good luck.

    Edited 3/10/2007 9:59 pm ET by solosmocker

    1. shev | | #2

      you did understand the problem correctly. I am just reluctant to sew up the lining before the fabric seams are lying flat.thanks for all the good advice,

      1. solosmocker | | #3

        You are welcome. It was my pleasure to help. Is this little dress for a special occasion? I love children's formal attire and plan to have a business soon making just that. I am laying the groundwork right now. No curves to get in the way of fitting!

        Edited 3/11/2007 10:32 pm ET by solosmocker

  2. Blonde Golfer | | #4

    I have found that when hemming polyester, it takes a little extra step.  I press the hem flat and then press down on it with a smooth board I have until the fabric cools.  Because polyester is so heat sensitive, you can keep a crease on it better if it doesn't have a chance to relax before it cools.  So I have the iron in one hand and the board in the other.  If you have ever heated polyester too long in dryer and created wrinkles that won't wash out, you can iron them out permanently until it overheats again.

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