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How to Hem Lace

Updated February 21, 2017

Many lace garments are designed to use the shaped edges of the lace at the hemline and the edges of the sleeves. If you would prefer a straight line at the hem, you can cut the shaped lace fabric in a straight line and sew in a hem. Sew up a hem to alter a garment that is too long, to convert a long skirt into a shorter one or to adjust sleeves that are too long.

Cut off the fabric at the hem, 1 1/2 inches below the desired hemline. For best results, have the wearer put on the garment and measure the required distance up from the floor. This is easier if she stands on a stool.

Iron up 1/2 inch at the bottom of the hem.

Iron up another inch of the hem. You now have a fold at the bottom of the garment and a fold at the top of the hem.

Stitch close to the folded top edge to hold the hem in place. Machine stitch with a straight stitch and a short stitch length. If sewing by hand the openings in the fabric will dictate the placement of your stitches. Try to make your stitches 1/4 inch below the top fold and 1/4 inches apart.

Cut off the fabric at the hem, 3/4 inch below the desired hemline of both sleeves.

Iron up 1/4 inch on the edge of the hem.

Iron up another 1/2 inch of the hem.

Stitch close to the folded top edge to hold the hem in place. Machine stitch with a straight stitch and a short stitch length. If sewing by hand the openings in the fabric will dictate the placement of your stitches. Try to make your stitches 1/4 inch below the top fold and 1/4 inches apart.

Hem the second sleeve in the same way as the first.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Iron
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine (optional)
  • Needle (optional)
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About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.