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How to sew a baby hem


A baby hem is essentially a very small rolled hem done on the machine without a rolled hem foot. It’s a pretty and delicate hemming option that is perfect for lightweight and sheer fabrics. (A baby hem isn’t really suitable for thicker fabrics, as they would be too bulky to create the small folds.)


Stitch 1/8” below your hem allowance all the way around the edge to be hemmed. (Ex., if your hem allowance is 5/8”, stitch at 1/2”.)


Press fabric to wrong side along stitching line.


Stitch a scant 1/8” in from the bottom folded edge all the way around.


Carefully trim the excess fabric as close to your stitching line as you can. You may wish to use smaller scissors for this step. As you trim, try holding the bit you’re cutting in your non-cutting hand to keep it taut.


Roll the bottom edge towards the wrong side of the fabric to create a tiny fold. Press.


Stitch down the center of the fold all the way around.


You will see two lines of stitching on the inside…


…and one line on the outside.


Voila! A cute little itty bitty baby hem!


Devon Iott

Raised on a farm in Ohio, Devon moved to Los Angeles for college and worked in the film industry for several years. She has taught sewing at various shops throughout Southern California and at the Craftcation Conference in Ventura. She now resides and teaches in Nashville. When not obsessively sewing she can be found knitting, baking, and drinking wine with her cat.



September 24, 2014 #

Thank you!
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September 24, 2014 #

This post was written and photographed by Devon, so it’s her machine, not mine. :)


September 26, 2014 #

It’s my Pfaff! :]


September 24, 2014 #

That fabric! <3

Kassandra Sullivan

September 24, 2014 #

This is so helpful! As is all the hem instructions are! Not to mention the lovely fabric :)

September 24, 2014 #

Just the hem I have been looking for. Always wondered how to get that look and as usual Colette has the answer!


September 25, 2014 #

This is really clear, thank you! You make it look so easy but I bet mine won’t turn out so perfect! Well are least I will be doing it right now :)


September 25, 2014 #

This is a great tutorial and works well on cottons. I tried that on silky fabric and it doesn’t look quite as neat. I found this tutorial:

It works great on chiffons and even around a curved edge, giving you more control. I use embroidery wash-away stabilizer. The thickness of it is just enough for silky fabric and the best part is that it washes away leaving you with a great hem finish. Another benefit is that you have only one line of stitching on both sides, which is neater if you are making something that can be seen on both sides


September 26, 2014 #

thanks for the tip!


September 25, 2014 #

Where is that amazing fabric from?!


September 26, 2014 #

isn’t it so cute?? it’s originally from Sew LA in Los Angeles. It’s a Japanese cotton from Yuwa Fabrics, I believe. It’s a couple years old now but I’ve still seen it out and about…here’s some in an etsy shop! It comes in a few other color ways too:


September 25, 2014 #

I’m an engineer, so it’s in my nature to want to understand why things work the way they do. :) What’s the purpose of the very first line of stitching, the one before any of the folds? Is it to help ensure the folding is done in the correct position on the fabric (easier than just pressing using a seam gauge), or does it serve a structural or other purpose? Also, since my machine does have a rolled hem foot, is there a time when it would be a better choice to use this technique (e.g., when using certain fabrics), or is it just a matter of personal preference?

Thanks so much for all the wonderful information! I originally ran across Snippets, subscribed to the main blog because of Wardrobe Architect, and continue to read eagerly because of the interesting info and great tips. As soon as I sew the couch pillows I finally bought fabric for last weekend I plan to be brave and try sewing a couple Colette patterns!


September 26, 2014 #

The first line of stitching does make it much easier to turn and fold precisely, but it also adds strength to the hem. The fabric is trimmed right down to the stitching line, so having that extra line of stitching lessens the chance that it will fray out.

As for the rolled hem foot – I would always test that on a scrap first and go with that, since it’s easier. But it’s nice to know how to do it without too, in case you’re having trouble with a particular fabric in your rolled hem foot, or you would like more control.


September 25, 2014 #

Thank you for showing this. I thought I understood, but then as I scrolled down your tutorial, realized, no I didn’t understand! So I thank you for the demo. And I love the fabric!

Sarah – Fabrictragic

September 29, 2014 #

Awesome, thankyou!

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October 8, 2014 #

What is scant?


October 8, 2014 #

Scant means just slightly less than.

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