How to Hem a Circle Skirt

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Hemming a curved edge on a circle skirt may seem a little tricky, but knowing a couple of techniques will allow you to choose the method you like the best.

Hem of a circle skirt done with green single-fold-bias tape

Two Techniques to Hem a Circle Skirt

Two hemming techniques that can be used on the curved edge of a circle skirt are:

  • Hand sewing a turned edge
  • Single-fold bias tape

The first option involves turning the hem twice (to hide the raw edge) and sewing it in place by hand using either a slant hem stitch or a verticle hem stitch.

The second option uses single-fold bias tape. You attach it to form a narrow facing that is turned to the wrong side of the fabric. It can be bought ready-made or you can make your own.

Hemming a Circle Skirt with Hand Sewing

There are a few steps to do in before you hand sew the hem in place.

  1. Sew a basting line 1/4 inch from the raw edge.
  2. Turn the raw edge along the basting line to the inside of the fabric and press.
  3. Turn it again and press.
  4. Pin to hold the hem in place for hand sewing.

Pro tip: You’ll discover when you turn the raw edge that bubbles form. If you try to get the fabric flat by smoothing out the bubbles as you’re turning, the hem goes off the edge.

The trick to this technique is to let the bubbles form and make sure that as you turn the fabric, the edge is going toward the middle of the circle. To see this technique in action, take a look at the video.

Once your hem is prepared, use either the slant hem stitch or the vertical hem stitch to secure it in place. Use a thread color that matches the fabric and your stitches will be nearly invisible.

Both hand stitches look the same from the right side of the fabric but different on the wrong side.

It’s faster to sew the slant hem stitch but this stitch is less durable because of the amount of thread that is visible on the wrong side of the fabric. It is more likely to get snagged or caught on something.

The vertical hem stitch takes a little longer to sew but over time will last longer due to the small amount of thread that is visible.

Video – Two Ways to Hem a Circle Skirt by Hand

Hemming with Bias Tape

Types of Bias Tape

There are two types of bias tape:

  • single-fold
  • double-fold

Both types of bias tape have edges that are folded toward the center but the double-fold bias tape is also folded in half.

To hem a circle skirt, you want to use single-fold bias tape.

Where to Get Bias Tape

When you choose the bias tape, you can use a color that blends in with the skirt or one that adds a fun pop of color as you move around.

You can make your own single-fold bias tape or purchase a ready-made tape.

A bias tape maker is a handy tool to have if you make your own.

For the circle skirt used in the tutorial, I made my own 1/2-inch bias tape. This works well for hemming.

Pro-tip: If you use store-bought bias tape, press one side of it open allowing the length of tape to curve slightly as you move the iron over it. You’ll still be able to see the crease in the tape, but it will be easier to pin in place on the circle skirt’s edge.

Connecting Bias Tape Together

You need a length of bias tape that is a few inches longer than the circumference of the skirt. To sew two pieces of bias tape together.

  1. Overlap the ends with the right sides of the tape together. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the top tape. (Image 1)
  2. Sew on the drawn line and cut off the excess leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. (Image 2)
  3. Press the seam open. (Image 3)

How to Hem a Circle Skirt with Bias Tape

To hem a circle skirt with bias tape, you will need 1/2-inch single-fold bias tape that is a few inches longer than the circumference of the circle skirt hem.

  1. Take the end of the bias tape and fold about 1/2-inch over to the wrong side.
  2. Lay the right side of the bias tape on the right side of the fabric. Line up the raw edges and pin in place.
  3. To close the bias-tape hem, overlap the ends. Lay the unfolded end on top of the folded one. Make sure the creases align.
  4. Sew the two together following the crease in the bias tape.
  5. Turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the skirt. It should not be visible from the right side of the skirt. Pin in place. (You can press the bias tape as you turn it to help keep it in place when pinning.)
  6. Sew close to the edge on the wrong side of the skirt to secure the bias tape.
Step 2. Lay the right side of the bias tape on the right side of the fabric. Line up the raw edges and pin in place.
Step 3. Sew the two together following the crease in the bias tape.
Step 5a. Turn the bias tape to the wrong side of the skirt.
5b. It should not be visible from the right side of the skirt. Pin in place.
Step 6. Sew close to the edge on the wrong side of the skirt to secure the bias tape.

That’s it…you’re done!

Good news! This technique can be used on necklines, too.

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