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How to Hem a Knit Dress: Top Hemming Techniques (2023)

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how to hem a knit dress by handUnravel the hidden art of transforming your knit dress with the touch of your own hands. Just as a master sculptor delicately shapes clay into a masterpiece, you possess the prowess to hem that knit dress into sheer elegance.

Within the realm of knit fabrics, where every stitch weaves a story of comfort and flexibility, lies a challenge – how to hem a knit dress by hand, a feat that demands your skillful finesse. Fear not, for this guide is your key to unraveling the top hemming techniques that empower you to wield mastery over your knit dress’s final form.

From the graceful rolled hem to the confident coverstitch hem, each technique is a brushstroke in your creative journey. Steer through the seas of uncertainty as we navigate the realms of needles, threads, and stitches, equipping you with the artistry to not only hem but transform – liberating your dress into a canvas of your making, a symbol of your power over fabric and form.

Key Takeaways

  • Transform a knit dress with hand hemming techniques.
  • Follow these steps to hand hem a knit dress.
  • Choose the right sewing needle and thread.
  • Use a walking foot for better control.

Top 5 Hemming Techniques for Knit Dresses

Top 5 Hemming Techniques for Knit Dresses
Diving into the world of knit dress hemming, you’ll uncover five essential techniques that bring a professional finish to your creations. Master the art of the Rolled Hem, Lettuce Hem, Blind Hem, Regular Overlock Stitch, and Coverstitch Hem using your serger and other tools, adding finesse and flair to your knit dresses.

Rolled Hem With a Serger

Get ready to add a touch of finesse to your stretchy creation! Now, imagine this: you’re gliding through your project with a serger, revealing the art of giving your fabric edges a polished finish. Serging brings unmatched benefits – it trims while it stitches, preventing fabric stretching.

The rolled hem technique is your secret weapon. This serger stitch ensures tidy, fray-resistant edges, allowing your knit dress to effortlessly embrace both comfort and style.

Lettuce Hem With a Serger

Crafting with finesse, you’ll effortlessly create the charming wavy texture of the Lettuce Hem using a serger, adding a touch of whimsy to your garment that’s bound to captivate and delight. Employ serger techniques to master this playful finish. Experiment with different serger stitch variations to achieve the desired lettuce hem effect.

Overcome hemming challenges specific to stretch fabrics, as this technique beautifully complements the flow and drape of a knit dress.

Blind Hem With a Serger

Explore the artistry of refining edges as you master the technique of creating a seamless transition within your fabric, all facilitated by the meticulous touch of the serger’s blind hem.

Experience the finesse of serging techniques that enhance your knit dress finishing. Unleash the power of a blind hem, a professional serger hem that elevates your craftsmanship.

Serger Hemming Tips:

  • Achieve impeccably clean edges, blending seamlessly into your knit dress.
  • Maintain your stretch fabric‘s elasticity with a secure yet flexible hem.
  • Partner with the finest – employ knit stay tape for added stability.
  • The serger’s walking foot ensures even, controlled stitching for a flawless result.

Embrace these serger hem benefits, harnessing liberation and mastery in your sewing endeavors.

Regular Overlock Stitch

Dive into this technique for hemming your knit masterpiece with the finesse of a seasoned creator: employing the regular overlock stitch, a true game-changer in achieving that flawless finish you crave.

The regular overlock stitch is your secret weapon against stretch fabric challenges.

See the table below for a vivid comparison of this technique with other methods:

Technique Stretch Preservation Finish Skill Required
Regular Overlock Stitch Excellent Neat and Professional Moderate
Zigzag Stitch Good Clean but Visible Easy
Stretch Blind Hem Average Invisible, Neat Edges Advanced

The regular overlock stitch seamlessly merges the best of hand hemming advantages and sewing machine techniques. Its balance of stretch preservation, polished finish, and moderate skill requirement makes it a must-try for anyone looking to achieve mastery in hemming knit dresses.

Coverstitch Hem

Embark on this stitching journey that weaves elegance into every seam, allowing your fabric to dance with finesse as you conquer the art of creating a flawless edge using the Coverstitch Hem technique.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Coverstitch vs. Zigzag Hem: The Coverstitch offers a more professional finish compared to zigzag stitches.

  • Achieving a Professional Coverstitch: To create a neat, professional-looking hem, it is important to maintain even tension on both sides of the fabric.

  • Coverstitch Hem Variations: Experiment with different width settings and thread colors to add unique touches to your garments.

  • Fabric Bands: Utilize coverstitching on fabric bands for added durability and a polished look.

Master the Coverstitch Hem technique, and your knit dresses will exude craftsmanship and sophistication.

How to Hem Knit Fabric With a Sewing Machine

How to Hem Knit Fabric With a Sewing Machine
Delve into the world of versatile hemming techniques for knit fabric with your sewing machine. Discover the finesse of the 3-Step Zigzag Stitch (also known as the Tricot Stitch) and the professional touch of the Twin Needle Hem.

Explore the seamless elegance of the Stretch Blind Hem and the intricate charm of the Scalloped Hem.

Zigzag Stitch for Hemming Knits

Delving into the topic, now focus on the zigzag stitch’s distinctive role in perfecting the flexibility of stretch fabrics.

When it comes to hemming knit dresses, the zigzag stitch emerges as a versatile hero. This stretchy stitch addresses stretch fabric challenges by accommodating the fabric’s movement without causing puckering.

Hand hemming variations like the zig-zag hem provide a reliable solution for elastic hemming, ensuring your knit dress alterations maintain both comfort and style.

To achieve this, sew knits with a zigzag stitch, allowing the gentle pull of the fabric to harmonize with the stitch’s zigzag pattern. This technique not only secures the hem but also preserves the fabric’s stretchy nature.

3. Step Zigzag Stitch (or Tricot Stitch)

To master the art of achieving a flawless finish on stretchy fabrics, explore the 3-Step Zigzag Stitch, a versatile technique for securing stitches on knit hems.

  • Stitch Security: The 3-step zigzag provides superior stitch holding, preventing unraveling even on stretchy fabrics.

  • Flexibility: This stitch maintains fabric elasticity, ensuring comfortable movement.

  • Alternatives to Tricot: If tricot stitch isn’t your preference, the 3-step zigzag offers a reliable alternative.

  • Stability: Particularly useful for delicate fabrics, it prevents distortion while hemming.

  • Twin Needle Hem: Employ this stitch with a twin needle for a professional double-row finish.

Achieve impeccable knit dress finishing by utilizing this stretchy stitch option and complementing it with ballpoint pins to avoid fabric stretching during sewing.

Twin Needle Hem

Navigate your sewing journey towards finesse by embracing the Twin Needle Hem. This technique amplifies your fabric manipulation skills, elevating your stitch precision. Choose the appropriate needle size to prevent skipped stitches and fabric damage.

Enjoy Twin Needle Benefits, such as creating even hems that resist puckering. When altering knit dresses, this method maintains the fabric’s stretch. Don’t let hemming challenges deter you; opt for a scalloped hem for added style.

Stretch-resistant polyester thread is your ally, ensuring longevity in synthetic textile garments. Twin Needle Alternatives exist, but this method’s charm lies in its balanced combination of control and creativity.

Stretch Blind Hem

Explore a sophisticated approach to addressing the unique challenges of enhancing the flexibility and appearance of stretch fabric in your sewing projects by adeptly mastering the technique known as the Stretch Blind Hem.

When hemming delicate knits like a knit dress by hand, this method offers a slew of benefits. It prevents fabric distortion while capitalizing on the fabric’s elastic fibers, whether it’s 4-way or 2-way stretch.

With these hand hemming tips, you’ll wield mastery over hemming techniques, elevating your sewing prowess.

Scalloped Hem

Discover a new technique for adding an intricate touch to your garment with the scalloped hem, which adds a unique and stylish flair.

Did you know that 75% of fashion designers incorporate scalloped hems in their collections?

To achieve this look, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right fabric: Opt for lightweight knits or fabrics with good drape.
  2. Adding embellishments: Consider lace trim or decorative stitches to enhance the scallop effect.
  3. Alternatives to hand hemming: Use a coverstitch machine for professional-looking results.
  4. Hemming challenges: Take it slow and sew from left to right or right to left, repeating each step until completed.

Transform your garments into eye-catching pieces with these scalloped hem techniques!

General Tips for Hemming Knits

General Tips for Hemming Knits
To ensure a flawless hand-hemming process for your knit dress, there are several key points to keep in mind. Choose the right sewing needle and thread, utilize hemming tape like knit stay tape for added stability, opt for a walking foot on your machine to maintain even fabric feeding, and uncurl the hem before proceeding.

These strategies will collectively contribute to a smooth and professional-looking result that enhances the longevity and aesthetic of your knit dress.

Choose the Right Sewing Needle

Select the appropriate sewing needle to enhance your stitching experience, allowing you to smoothly work with stretch fabrics without causing tears or distortions. Needle selection tips are crucial for a successful hemming process. Consider needle types designed for knits, like ballpoint or stretch needles, which minimize fabric damage.

Sewing needle sizes matter too; opt for finer sizes to avoid visible holes. Ensure needle and fabric compatibility by understanding needle characteristics. For a knit dress, differentiate it from a woven one and proceed accordingly, utilizing serger stitches for added finesse.

Choose the Right Sewing Thread

To ensure a seamless stitching experience, go for a sewing thread that aligns with the elasticity of your fabric, effortlessly preserving the stretch while maintaining the precision of your meticulous stitches.

  1. Thread Properties: Opt for stretchy threads like wooly nylon or Eloflex that complement the fabric’s flexibility.
  2. Thread Compatibility: Ensure the thread is suitable for both hand stitching and your knit fabric.
  3. Thread Tension and Elasticity: Choose a thread that allows for gentle pulling without warping the fabric, maintaining the integrity of your hand hemming process.

Use Hemming Tape (Knit Stay Tape)

Looking to transform your sewing game from meh to wow? Embrace the secret weapon of sewing enthusiasts: that 25-yard roll of Fine Knit Fusible Stay Tape. When hemming a knit dress by hand, this tape is your best friend. Its benefits are numerous.

It prevents unwanted stretching, ensuring precise hems and stable necklines. Plus, it adds a professional touch to your creations. Application is a breeze, and the results speak for themselves. Say goodbye to hemming woes and hello to elevated sewing projects with this indispensable tool.

Use a Walking Foot on Your Machine

Enhance your sewing precision with a Walking Foot on your machine, ensuring seamless stitching and fabric control.

  1. Even Fabric Feeding: The Walking Foot’s dual feed mechanism prevents fabric layers from shifting, keeping knits in place while you sew.

  2. Reduced Stretching: It minimizes fabric stretching, essential for maintaining the shape and fit of stretch fabrics.

  3. Multiple Layers Ease: When hemming, the Walking Foot effortlessly handles thick layers, creating a polished finish even on double-folded hems.

Consider using a Walking Foot for stretch fabrics, especially knit dresses, to master the art of impeccable hand hemming.

Uncurl the Hem

Smoothly unrolling the folded edge, you’ll find the true magic of coaxing your fabric into place as you engage with the intricate dance of taming the material’s inherent elasticity. Fixing curls on stretch fabric is a crucial step in hand hemming, especially when altering a knit dress.

To start, identify the direction of curling. Gently press the curled edge with a warm iron to relax the fibers. If it persists, consider using a knit stay tape, like the Fine Knit Fusible Stay Tape, to stabilize and prevent further curling.

This small yet essential detail ensures your hand-hemmed knit dress maintains a polished, professional finish.

Steps to Hemming Your Knit Dress by Hand

Steps to Hemming Your Knit Dress by Hand
Begin the process by preparing the delicate fabric, opting for a ballpoint needle and stretchy thread like wooly nylon or Eloflex. Gently insert the needle, starting slightly away from the fabric’s edge. Secure the thread with small, precise stitches, ensuring stability through double stitching.

Seamlessly loop the thread over the delicate material, sewing from left to right, forming a smooth line of stitches. Hand stitching tips enhance your mastery, allowing precise control over the knit dress hemming.

While variations exist in fabric hemming techniques, your stretchy thread choice and needle selection guide the way, ensuring precision and preventing fabric distortion.

Elevate your skills with these precise hemming techniques, liberating your creativity while mastering the art of hand-stitched perfection.

Can You Alter Your Knit Dress?

Can You Alter Your Knit Dress
Explore the option of making alterations to your knit garment, leveraging your newfound knowledge of working with stretch fabrics and employing techniques that ensure a seamless and professional outcome.

When it comes to altering knit dresses, you have the power to transform the fit and style to suit your preferences.

  1. Adjusting Length: Whether you want to shorten a dress for a more casual look or lengthen it for a formal occasion, knowing how to hem by hand allows you to fine-tune the length to your liking without compromising the fabric’s stretch.

  2. Reshaping Silhouette: Knit dresses can be reshaped to enhance your body’s contours. Take in the sides for a slimmer fit or let them out for more room and comfort. Your dress fit can be customized to perfection.

  3. Adding Embellishments: Hand sewing enables you to add unique embellishments like lace, beads, or sequins to give your knit dress a personalized touch.

With the skills you’ve acquired, you have the freedom to alter and tailor your knit dresses, achieving a fit and style that truly empowers your fashion choices.

How Can I Tell Apart a Knit Dress From a Woven Dress?

How Can I Tell Apart a Knit Dress From a Woven Dress
To distinguish between a knit garment and a woven piece, effortlessly assess their distinct characteristics.

  • Check for stretch: Knit dresses will have more elasticity compared to wovens.
  • Examine the fabric structure: Knits consist of interlocking loops, while wovens are made up of individual threads crossing over each other.
  • Look at the edges: If you see unraveling or fraying along the hemline or seams, it’s likely a woven garment.
  • Observe how it drapes: Woven dresses tend to have more structured silhouettes, while knits often drape smoothly against your body.
  • Pay attention to seam finishes: Woven garments typically feature clean finished seams on both sides, whereas knits may have raw edges.

By keeping these distinctions in mind when analyzing your dress’s characteristics, you’ll be able to confidently differentiate between knit and woven garments without any confusion.


In a Stitch, Seize the Knit! Unravel the art of hemming knit dresses by hand with finesse. Whether you’re a sewing savant or a newbie with a needle, these top techniques promise to elevate your knit dress game.

From rolled hems that bring a touch of elegance to lettuce hems evoking a playful vibe, each stitch tells a tale. Dive into the world of sergers and sewing machines, wielding zigzag stitches, twin needle hems, and more.

So, let’s sew up your knit dress dreams, one stitch at a time!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.