Lace is such a gorgeous fabric to work with and can made into some really stunning sewing projects, but do you know how to hem lace? I will talk about four different ways to hem lace, and how to know which one you should use for your sewing project!
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I recently made myself a lace trumpet skirt with a gorgeous flared hem and when it came time to finish, I realized there were lots of different ways to hem the lace. I wanted to finish the edge with a professional look so I started looking at lots of different lace hem finishes. Learn more about all the basic sewing stitches you need to sew clothing.
I have always been a fan of pencil skirts, but some of them are too tight to walk in or so tight that they ride up when you walk. What I love about this lace mermaid skirt is that it has the shape and glamour of a pencil skirt, but it also has the ease and movement of an a-line skirt. I just love the silhouette of it!
How to Hem Lace
Here are four different ways to hem lace. It’s actually five but two of them are the same technique with different fabrics.
Finish with Lace bias binding
This hem finish is great when you want the hem to blend in with the item you’re making. This takes a little longer than other finishes, but it works really well for curved hems. This is how I finished my mermaid lace skirt.
- Cut strips of fabric 2″ by as long as possible. Make sure you cut it on the bias.
- Sew the right side of the bias lace to the wrong side of your hem with a 3/8″ seam allowance and a straight stitch.
- Press the seam allowance towards the bias lace.
- Fold the bias lace raw edge up to meet the seam allowance.
- Fold the folded edge of the bias lace up to cover the stitches and pin. Press well.
- Sew from the right side with a straight stitch and stitch in the ditch all the way around the trim securing it in place. I sewed 1/2″ from the edge. Press again.
Finish with Pre-Made Bias Binding
Instead of using the lace to bind the edge, you can use pre-made bias binding purchased from a store. This hem finish is great when you want the hem to be stiff, and it works well with curved hems.
- Bias binding is created with one side a little taller than the other side. It doesn’t matter which side you use except that if the shorter side is on the right side, the taller side will show through the lace.
- Open the bias binding and fold it around the raw edge of the lace.
- Sew with a straight stitch right along the top edge of the bias binding to secure it to the lace. Press well.
Hem with hem tape
This gives a subtle hem without any extra fabric added. It’s quick, easy, and almost invisible. It works best with straighter hems and a lace with the least amount of holes.
- Cut a strip, or strips, of HeatnBond Lite hem tape (buy on Thermoweb* or buy on Amazon*) to fit the length of the hem.
- Follow the instructions of the hem tape and iron it onto the wrong side of the raw edge of the lace.
- Carefully peel the backing off of the tape.
- Fold the raw edge of the lace up the height of the hem tape. The hem tape will be your guide for the width of the hem. Press the hem in place which sticks the two sides of the fabric together.
- Sew a straight stitch 1/8″ from the edge raw edge all the way around the skirt.
Cut around the motifs
The only hem that doesn’t need any fabric or product added, and it’s easy but a little tedious. This hem works best on straight hems. You can also cut the fabric on the crossgrain instead of the grainline to use the finished edge of the lace as the hem.
- This may be the easiest of all the hems, but it requires a lot of focus.
- With scissors cut along the design of the lace. You’ll need to follow along the same design of the lace all the way around the skirt.
- It creates a beautiful lace edge for the hem. Make sure that you cut along the same design of the lace so you get the same look all the way around.
Add a lace trim
A faster hem finish that gives off a bit of a bohemian vibe. This hem is great for straight and curved hems.
- Buy some pretty lace trim* that matches the color of your lace.
- Serge the edge of the lace. Serging lace is pretty tricky and actually stretches the crocheted-like lace out.
- Place the lace trim in a way that covers the serging. Sew the trim on the lace with a straight stitch.
- Sew the other side of the trim with a straight stitch.
Which way would you use to hem a lace skirt?
I used the Mermaid Maxi skirt by Tie Dye Divas to make this skirt. I shortened the skirt to more of a midi length with a subtle high-low hem. I made a size 4 for the jersey lining and a size 6 for the lace since it had less stretch.
If you make something using this tutorial, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!