The Hem to Skirt Correlation

Do you make skirts? Or plan to/dream of it? Then I have some information that might just come in handy! Did you know different kinds of skirts need different hem allowances? If you did (or didn't but do now), do you wonder why? Because there is a reason! Let me share and add another little pocket of information to your sewing knowledge!

The Hem to Skirt Correlation

A hem is the bit of fabric folded back to the inside of a garment and stitched down. It not only adds to a professional look, but it also plays a role in the ultimate durability of that garment. Many people don't know this, but the silhouette of a skirt plays a large role in determining its correct hem allowance. For example:

Straight skirt:

Skirts that are straight up and down (like a pencil skirt) made with a medium to heavy weight fabric will typically have a wider hem. This 1 1/2 to 2-inch hem actually helps keep the skirt straight with the weight of the hem.

A-line skirt:

With its wider silhouette, an A-line skirt needs a slightly narrower hem to cut back on the bulk and keep it from looking too clunky. But leaving it at 1 1/2 inches will help add a little bit of structure to keep its shape looking good. Our Sophia in dress length offers this great shape!

Flared skirt:

A flared skirt, such as a half circle skirt, will need a narrower hem yet, for the same reasons. Basically, the wider the bottom of the skirt, the narrower you will want the hem to be. So for this silhouette, you'll want about a 1-inch hem. Many Bella Sunshine patterns use a flared skirt. Pictured is our lovely Felicity without the ruffle option.

Circle skirt:

This is about as full of a skirt as you can get. As such, it will have the narrowest hem allowance. This will allow it to drape and flow (and twirl!) the most freely. The recommended hem would be 1/2", but you can go even narrower or omit completely if you're sewing it in a knit fabric (like if you're sewing up a Sahara!).

There you go! Another skirt mystery solved! Are there any other mysteries you'd like us to shed some light on? Share your ideas in the comments below! And join us in our Facebook group for fun and support!
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.