How to use a Hem tape

How to sew a hem tape to finish hems of clothes (dresses, skirts, pants) to maintain a somewhat crisp and stiff look and give hem adequate support

how to sew hem tape

A crisp hemline is a thing of beauty, don’t you think?. Do you not want your pant hems to stay nice and elegant all day, maintaining their shape. A floppy hemline is not so appreciated unless it is a blouson one. And it is all so easy with a hem tape (used to stiffen hemlines).

hem tape sewing

So how do you use Hem tape?

A Hem tape is a somewhat stiff tape that can be ironed onto the garment hemline quite easily with an iron and then stitched over – this will give the hemline the necessary support. 

You get the hem tape in many widths. You can have your choice depending on the type of fabric you have. If you have a thin fabric with a thin hemline you would not want a very wide hem tape. But thicker satin frocks etc will need a wide hem tape to give adequate support and stiffness. With a flared silhouette you will want to use a narrower hem tape

There are two ways of sewing a hem tape – one is as a facing and the other as an interfacing inside the folds of the hem.

How to sew the hem-tape on hems

This methods describes how to sew the hem tape as a facing for the hem.

After getting the required tape, cut the length you want.  If there are any wrinkles on the tape, steam it flat. Do not stretch the hem tape.

Press the seams inside (side seams) open. 

Keep the garment right side out in front of you. Trim your hem edge with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

using hem tapes

Place the hem tape over the hem line to the outside, keeping it on the mark of 1/4 inch you have made. Start from a side seam.

hem tapes

Stitch it in place.

hem tape in sewing

Turn the edge and the hem tape to the inside.

Sew along the edge and 1/2 inch to the inside joining the hem tape and the fabric.

hem tape

Sew the edges of the seam tape together at the seam line with a hand stitch. You can also make a tailor’s tack stitch at the side seam line keeping the hem tape in place, as a reinforcement.

Related posts: 10 different types of tapes in sewing; 20 Different types of machine made hems; 18 ways to sew a hand-made hem; How to sew invisible hems.; How to sew horsehair braid to stiffen hem; Kinds of stitches with pictures and names

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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