Monday, 19 July 2010

Clip and Swivel Hem


I've just finished the shimmery green Burda trench. When I get the chance to take some photos I'll write a post here. I am now indulging in some quick straightforward sewing - a pair of simple black pants for my daughter, on request. There was enough material to also sqeeze out a straight black skirt for her so I'm doing that too. Is she a lucky girl? Heck yes but she trully appreciates what I sew, looks good in just about anything and tells me my sewing gets better all the time. Who am I to resist?

While I was finishing the green trench I finished the hem using what I call the Clip and Swivel method that I figured out some time ago from a RTW jacket. I know this method has been reviewed elsewhere (Stitches? Threads?) but I took photos as I went along, seeing I was sewing with contrasting materials that would show up well in photos. Here is my explanation of what I did.

You know how most pattern instructions for a lined coat or jacket have this type of arrangement that leaves either a bulky turned under section or a hand sewn bit between the lining and the hem? It looks so much cleaner the way it is done on ready to wear jackets. It is a bit fiddly to achieve a continuous seam that includes the lining but here is how I do it.

Firstly, finish your coat up to sewing the lining in but do not sew all the way down, leave about three inches of lining unsewn. Figure out how deep you want your hem. There is no way to let it down after using this method. Then sew along the facing along the hem line, stopping short 5/8 (or whatever your seam allowance is) from the edge. Backstitch a couple of stitches.

Cut away the hem allowance below the stitching line as shown.

Clip the remaining hem up to the edge of the previous trimming line 5/8 inch further back from the end of the sitiching end point. Don't go past the edge yet.

Trim away the piece of hem as shown. Trim inner corner.

Fold back your lining, making sure it will generously overlap the finished hem and pin to facing.
It will lie under the hem when you stitch it.

Now clip diagonally in towards the corner that marks the end of the stitching at such an angle that the hem part has a 5/8 edge. Be careful not to clip too far.

The remaining hem allowance will be brought up to the edge of the facing. Pin it over the lining.

Pin it and have a look at the inside to see if your corner is ok.


Stitch down the facing edge, through all layers then pivot at the corner and go down the hem edge.
Check it again, turning it inside out. Trim corner. but not too close. Turn out and press.

How it looks from the other side.

What it looks like turned right way out and before pressing.

The finished product after handstitching the hem, then the lining. There's probably a way to attach the lining to the hem by machine while doing this corner at the same time but I haven't figured it out yet. Mind you I don't mind doing blind hems by hand. Maybe it brands me as old school but I enjoy the coutureness of it.
I hope you get something out of my tutorial. Let me know if you do!

Edit January 2013 I knew there was a tutorial somewhere on how to do the professional version of this hem where the lining hem is also machine sewn. This link is from Fashion Incubator Nameless Tutorial 



  1. I just found your blog thru PatternReview and have added it to my daily reader! Thank you for this tutorial. It's especially timely for me because I have been avoiding finishing a jacket for my daughter due to inexperience with linings. I have printed your post and have it ready to follow step by step.


  2. Dinah, thank you. I'm glad this tute has been of help.

  3. Thanks a lot for the post I am searching for... you make this easy for me...! keep it up and now i will follow your blog, hope you will give me another good information soon...!

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  4. When I see that problem my work then I visit your web. Really your tutorial solved my work.
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