sew perfect invisible hem by hand

Master the Effortless Art of Sewing a Perfect Invisible Hem by Hand

Sewing a neat, invisible hem is a handy skill for clothing alterations and tailoring.

  • It gives a professional, finished look to pants, skirts and dresses
  • The stitches are completely hidden from the outside
  • It’s an easy technique once you learn the steps
  • You only need basic sewing supplies to get started

Want to level up your hemming skills? Keep reading to learn how!

Step 1 – Gather Your Supplies

To start, you’ll need:

  • The garment you want to hem
  • A fabric pencil or chalk
  • Sewing pins or clips
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Thread to match your fabric colour
  • A pair of sharp scissors

Having the right tools makes the job much easier. Make sure your needle is sharp, and your thread won’t shed fuzz or knots.

Step 2 – Prepare the Hem

First, try on the garment and mark where you want the new hemline with your fabric pencil. Add about 1 inch below this for the hem allowance.

Next, remove the garment and cut along the line you marked, creating the new raw edge. Try to cut in a straight line all the way around.

Step 3 – Fold and Pin the Hem

Step 3 - Fold and Pin the Hem
Photo credit: pexels

Here’s where the “invisible” part comes in. Fold the raw edge under 1/4 inch and press it flat with an iron. Then fold it under another 3/4 inch and press again.

This creates a double-fold hem with no raw edges showing. Use pins or clips to hold the folded hem in place, spacing them a few inches apart.

Step 4 – Stitch the Invisible Hem

Thread your needle and knot the end of the thread. From the right side of the garment, push the needle through only the top fold of the hem allowance.

Don’t catch the garment fabric itself – that’s what makes it invisible. Just pass the needle in and out of the folded hem edge.

Take tiny stitches close together, about 1/8 inch apart, while gently pulling the thread taut. This makes the stitches basically disappear into the fold.

Step 5 – Finish and Press

Once you’ve sewn all the way around, knot the thread on the inside of the hem to secure the end. Give it a final press with the iron, and you’re done!

The stitches will be totally hidden, leaving a nice, crisp hemline on the outside of your garment.


What supplies do I need to sew an invisible hem by hand?

You’ll need a sewing needle, matching thread, fabric scissors, pins or clips, and a fabric markings tool like chalk or pencil.

How do I prepare the fabric for an invisible hem?

First, try on the garment and mark your desired hemline with a fabric pencil. Cut off the excess fabric, leaving about 1 inch for the hem allowance.

How do I stitch the invisible hem so the stitches don’t show?

Fold and press the raw edge under twice to encase it. Then, from the right side, stitch tiny stitches just through the folded hem allowance, not the garment fabric.

What type of fabric works best for an invisible hem?

Most woven fabrics, like cotton, linen, wool, etc., are suitable for this method. It may be trickier on very thick or heavy fabrics.

How often should I replace my hand-sewing needle?

It’s a good idea to start with a new, sharp needle for each project. Dull or bent needles can cause skipped stitches or run the risk of snagging the fabric.

Can I use this technique on curved hems?

Yes, the invisible hand-sewn hem also works well on gentle curves like skirt hems or sleeve cuffs. Take it slowly around tight curves for best results.


Sewing an invisible hem takes a little practice, but it’s an easy way to get professional results at home. Just take it slowly, use small stitches, and be careful not to catch the garment fabric itself.

With this method, you can tailor clothes for a perfect fit every time. Why not try hemming a pair of pants or a dress this weekend? Having this skill in your toolbelt opens up all kinds of sewing possibilities.


Main image: freepik

Priti Nandy
Priti Nandy
Articles: 285

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