How to Add a Scalloped Hem

Jan 13, 2014

I've been really into doing DIY things lately (especially since I am broke after the Christmas holidays and can't afford to buy things myself). I hope you enjoy this one!

I really have loved this type of hem for the longest time but I don't see it very often among clothing stores. It adds a sweet touch to an outfit, doesn't it? When you can't buy it, then you make it yourself!

- Skirt, dress or shorts made of thin fabric (ex. cotton, jersey, rayon, etc... preferably not denim). If working on a skirt/dress, it is easiest to work on a full skirt or a straight skirt. Circle skirts will be extremely difficult to work on
- Marking utensils
- Pins
- Thread that matches your fabric
- Scissors
- Stencil or a small, circular object

1. On the bottom hem of your clothing item, take the edge and fold it upwards approximately 2.5-3 inches (leaving enough room to draw your scallop shape). A small part of the inside should now be facing the outside. Pin all around the fold to keep the fold in place.

2. Either print out the stencil I made or take a small, circular object to trace. The smaller your circle, the more scallops you will get. Note: you need to somewhat eyeball it while you're drawing your scallops in to ensure that you draw in full scallops all around the hem; you don't want to have notably different sizes of scallops or half-drawn ones! Spread them out accordingly!

3. Sew along the lines that you drew!

4. Cut off the fabric below the seams you made (i.e. the area below the rounded edges). Try to cut as close to the seam as possible.

5. Now take your entire skirt, dress, or shorts and flip it inside out. Your original hem should now be unseen (i.e. not on the side of fabric facing outwards). You want the original hem to be seen. Think of the folded area as a pocket. The raw edges of your scallops are currently on the "outside of the pocket". Take the fabric and fold it to the other side so that your scallop raw edges are now on the "inside of the pocket". The scallops should now be covered.

6. Take any blunt, long, and small object and poke out your scallops. The raw edges are now inside the "pocket" and you should have perfectly shaped scallops! Iron the fabric so the scallops lay flat.

7. To finish it off, you have several options:
a) Best option: blind hem stitch by hand or by using a sewing machine the original hem to the skirt/dress/shorts
b) Sew as close as you can along the scallop edge again so that the scallops lay flat. Cut off the excess fabric around it
c) Use fabric glue to get everything to stay

Tada, you're done! Hope you enjoyed it :)


  1. This is so awesome! I think the final product looks great! Glad you were able to make something when you were unable to find your perfect piece in stores!

  2. a lovely tutorial! I look forward to your future ones.