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How to Hem a Knit Dress by Hand Full Guide of 2023

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Knitted garments fit easily. They are incredibly comfortable to wear! It’s because of their flexible nature, which is admittedly both a plus and a minus. On the downside, the garment is prone to uneven edges and wrinkles, especially when sewing at right angles to the thread. When hemming, you need to uphold the merit and smooth out the negatives. You’ll still want to get your dress on and off with ease!

Hemming your knit projects while doing your woven projects can cause the fabric to become wavy and unwanted. The stitches can also pop out if you stretch your garment. Therefore, before you hem your knit dress, make sure you have completed the process properly. Zooming with a sewing machine makes the process quick and easy, but try it with your hands. It gives an almost invisible finish.

How do you hem a knitted dress by hand?

Make sure you choose a stitch that allows the garment to stretch. It means that the stitch must also be able to stretch. Take the time to think about it and choose one that doesn’t compromise on the stretchability of the garment. Depending on the last look you want your dress to have, choose the type of hem you will use for your sewing project.

Choose a hem type

You want your dress to look neat and professional. Therefore, choose the best type of stitch, hem, needle and thread that are suitable for hemming your knitted dress. Below are some hems you can consider bringing out fresh looks.

1. Consider leaving a raw edge

Instead of going through the hemming process, you can decide to skip it altogether. However, this depends on two things; your fabric and your hem preference. If your dress is a jersey dress, you can easily skip this process. And while a garment without a hem may seem fashionable to some people, others don’t like the idea of a rough look.

To test whether your fabric fits well with a hem-free finish, gently stretch the raw edge. If it unravels or frays, this may not be the best option for you.

2. Creating a zigzag hem

The zigzag stitch functions as both a hemstitch and a decorative stitch. It will add glamor to your knit fabric, especially when you use a contrasting color thread. And yes, you can also do a zigzag stitch by hand. It is perfect for knit fabrics because it can stretch a lot. Turn the hem up and secure it with the zigzag stitch. Use narrow stitches because they are less noticeable unless you are using them as decorative stitches.

Keep the seam straight as you sew

Knitted garments gather at the edges. It can make the zooming process very problematic and stressful. Here are some sewing techniques that will help keep the seams straight as you sew.

1. Press the hem

Take a moment to press the hem with a hot iron before sewing. Fold up your hem and iron it. It helps to make the sewing process more comfortable, and it also improves the last appearance of the garment.

You can also repeat this process after you’ve finished hemming. If you accidentally stretched part of the hem, this will help to shrink a bit.

2. Use interfacing

Seamstresses don’t really recommend interfacing for knits, but it helps to structure your hem. It helps ensure you sew straight hems as it provides a guideline to follow as you sew.

3. Knit Stay Tape

It is a stretchable tape with iron-on glue on one side. Attach it to the seam and it will hold its shape when you sew it. Make sure you iron it enough so that it sticks to the garment.

4. Using ballpoint pens

Pins are useful in most sewing projects when you need to hold pieces of fabric or parts of the same fabric together. Knitted garments are no exception. Ballpoint pens prevent the holes that regular pens can make in your garment. Unlike the pointed tips that have standard pins, they have rounded ends, so they go in between the knit stitches instead of poking them. Pin them to your hem to hold them in place as you sew.

5. Do not stretch your fabric while holding it

Be careful not to stretch your fabric while sewing. It may cause pleats or an uneven hem. Try not to pull on the fabric as much as possible while sewing. You can do this by placing the material on your table or holding it on your lap. Don’t let it hang or it will stretch.

Steps to hand-hem your knit dress

Now you’ve done all the prep, it’s time to sew! Grab your needle and thread and give your dress a nice hem.

Step 1: Double your thread through getting it through the eye of the needle. Work with a thread about an arm’s length to avoid tangling.

Step 2: Insert the needle where you want to start the stitch. Don’t start too close to the edge of the fabric as this is the seam allowance. Leave at least a quarter to a half inch for the seam allowance.

Step 3: Insert your needle in and run through the fabric to the other side, then back to the side, you started making a small stitch. You can leave a larger space, but you don’t want to have any substantial choke holes.

Step 4: Put your secure the thread by sewing twice in the same place and passing your needle through the same loop. Pull to tighten.

Step 5: Start looping your yarn over the hem and insert your needle through the same spot on the opposite side of the fabric. Always go from left to right as you sew.

Step 6: Tighten the thread, being careful not to pull it so tight that it warps the fabric. It should be just enough to secure the stitch and prevent it from being grabbed by outside objects. The fabric can stretch.

Step 7: Repeat steps 5 and 6 to the end of your zoom until it is completely secure.

Step 8: At the end of the hem, secure your thread. You can do this by sewing twice in the same place, pulling your hook through the same loop as in the beginning.

Step 9: Hide the tail by passing your needle through the layers of fabric, being careful not to go all the way through. Get measurable results a few inches away from the double stitch. Cut the bobbin from the thread. It will disappear and hide between the layers of fabric.

Suppose you find it difficult to keep even stitches while sewing by hand; consider marking your fabric with a fabric pen with evanescent ink. Follow the markers with your stitches as you sew.

Can you change your knit dress?

Yes, you can! You can match most natural fiber knits to the side seams to make them fit better. It includes fine knits, such as those made in machine-made items with small stitches, as well as medium and heavy yarn knits. However, it takes a lot of skill, so you may need to take your garment to an allowed sewer for the process.

How do I recognize a Knitted Dress from a Woven dress?

A knit fabric by continuously looping a single yarn to give a braided appearance. A piece of woven fabric comprises multiple cords that cross at right angles to form the grain. To physically distinguish between the two, you can check their appearance or use the stretch, wrinkle, or fray test.

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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.