How to Sew a Rolled Hem

rolled hem

A rolled hem is a very small hem made up of two folds. It can be really tricky to sew since each fold is teeny tiny. Many sewing machines have a rolled hem foot that curves and folds the fabric as you sew, but I find that way of sewing it to be very fussy and difficult to control. This is my personal preferred method for a rolled hem and I find it works perfectly every time. A rolled hem is an ideal finish on a finer blouse or dress, or something made with silk or a sheer fabric. Don’t try it on heavy weight or bulky fabrics, since it is best on a lighter weight fabric. It is far easier than you might think and is an elegant and professional looking finish that you might want to try on your next project!

Step 1: On the hem of your garment, stitch a straight line 1/4″ smaller from the desired hem allowance. So for example, if you want a 1” hem, stitch this at the 3/4″ line.

step 2
Step 2: Fold the stitch line to the wrong side of the fabric and press with an iron.

step 3
Step 3: Return to your sewing machine and stitch directly on top of the first stitch line. This will need to be done with the inside facing up as the back of the stitch is inside the fold of the hem.

step 4
Step 4: After stitching, press the entire hem with the iron again. If you are using a delicate fabric, be sure to press with an appropriate pressing cloth and with the iron set to the proper heat for your fabric type.

step 5
Step 5: Trim off the extra fabric from the hem, cutting right up to the stitch line.

step 6
Step 6: Fold the hem again, rolling the stitching from step 5 to the wrong side and leaving a clean unstitched seam on the right side of the fabric.

step 7
Step 7: Stitch directly on top of the stitches on the inside of the garment. This stitching will be seen on the right side and if sewn well will appear as one stitch on the inside. Repress the entire hem and relish your professional looking rolled hem!

sew a rolled hem

You might also enjoy learning how to apply bias tape to a neckline.

Plus, take the online Craftsy class Design & Sew an A-Line Skirt to sew a skirt and hem tailored to your own unique style.

Come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow to learn handy sewing repair tips.


Terry Sp

I’d like to see the rolled hem pressure foot used to sew a rolled hem and helpful hints. Thank Yoy


Hi, you should check out the free mini class on craftsy about sewing machine feet!

Cheri Gibbs

Very good instructions! I recently had to hem a brides maid dress with a tiny rolled hem and this was the method I learned from a seamstress in the UK- via the internet!!! I could not find any instructions for this 2 years ago! I had tried with my hem foot- but it was “eating the fabric”. And I hemmed three dresses by hand!!! So glad to know the trick to the rolled hem without the foot. No more hand sewing those hems now!!! This was out of my expertise- I make custom draperies and home decor- so I don’t normally deal with the sheer fabrics with a rolled hem.

Curtain Lady Design


No way! Spend the small amount on the right presser foot and never never look back at this method again. Save your hair… Save your fingers, save ironing.. Seriously I tried this once 35 years ago and thought I was daft afterwards. For things like this presser feet are your best friend.

Sheena Hudson

You didn’t demonstrate this on fine fabric which it was suggested for? I’d like to see how you control fine fabrics with this technique
Thank you


Isn’t this a pinhem rather than a rolled hem? A rolled hem should never be pressed as it squashes/flattens the roll. Not saying that it isn’t a valid finish for a fine/delicate fabric, just that this isn’t what I understand to be a rolled hem.

Lorna McMahon

Great little tutorial with excellent pictures and concise instructions!


This method does give the hem a finished look; however, I would think that on a fine-grained fabric, three rows of stitching would be too heavy, make the hem stiff, and weaken the fabric by piercing it so many times in the same area.


That was my second thought too! Think it would be far too heavy on a chiffon!

Marilee H

yikes… three rows of stitching would make for a heavy hem on super light material. And I agree about weakening fragile fabric. I used my serger to roll a hem on chiffon and it came out great.


Tried this technique yesterday on a medium woven weight fabric on straight of grain and on bias. Very successful! I can’t wait to try it on sheer light weight on my next project.

Robin Burns

Not really a rolled hem, but I like the way this style can be used for very narrow hemming. I too was hoping to see a demo of a real rolled hem using the presser foot designed for this purpose. That’s what the lead-in seemed to indicate.


Not really a rolled hem but great for a fast finish on kids clothes and sporty things. If you want a real rolled hem you must master the machine foot or the best method is a serger. They are not all that expensive and do a wonderful job. Much better than this look. However I did enjoy the tip for some other projects that I have. I hate hand hemming and I have yet to master the blind hem. This will work for several things.


I was planning to use a similar method on a prom dress (chiffon) last week until I realized there were 32ft of hem in the dress. If I had to sew and press it multiple times, I’d still be hemming! I opted for my foot and after a little battle, we started getting along and I completed it with the foot. Yes, when you hit certain areas of the hemline, there can be issues but I noticed the manufacturer’s hem had the same issues! It still took quite a while even with the foot as I had to go slow with the chiffon, but it was still the better choice in that application. (Btw-I used Sullivan’s fabric stabilizer on the hemline. Works wonders!)


Great instructions. Clear pictures. I agree with the comment about how to use this technique on finer or strechy fabric. I always end up with wavy or frilly hems when hemming a knit.


I agree with Christine Haynes-the rolled or narrow hem foot can be fussy and difficult to control, especially depending on the type of fabric you’re using. This method may involve more steps but I love the result-a neat, professional looking hem.

Sharon Tabaka

I hemmed my daughter’s brides maid gown – figured this out on my own and am so happy to see it is actually considered to be ‘ok’ to do this way. It looked almost exactly like the ‘factory’ hem and I found it to be super easy. I was very happy with the results.


Love this. Bought the foot for my machine but found it difficult to use. Thanks for sharing.


Too much sewing, IMO. Waste of thread. What I do is fold, iron, fold, iron and sew. Works great.

Elaine healy

Thank you for taking the time to demonstrate this method.I would probably used my rolled hem foot especially on sheer fabric, but I like knowing alternative methods in case the method I’m using fails me . :0)


Esp for slippery fabrics that foot is difficult particularly in bias areas as on curved hems. Christine’s method is great but can be reduced to stitching the hem only 2 times around instead of 3. Use a twin needle for the 1st round with increased tension that creates a sort of pintuck look. By using wash-away thread in the bobbin, this 1st row of stitching can later be removed leaving only the last and final row of stitching. Then press this 1st row of stitching flat, trim,and fold again as Christine shows. Then do the final row of stitching as she instructs unless you used wash-away thread; in which case you should sew close to the previous stitching so it can be removed after dissolving the wash-away thread either by a steam iron or a damp cloth.


One more tip: Use an edge-guiding foot to follow the edge of the fold and your stitching will be easier and straighter.

dress Material online

Managing corners takes lots of practice and more time to learn to get perfect corners

Cynthia Simoes

My biggest problem are curves such as bars in men’s shirt, a suggestion?


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