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How to Sew a Contrasting Fabric Hem

Not one to be left out, when Indigo saw I had made matching dresses for her sisters, she wanted one too.   But that particular dress pattern only went up to size 24 months.  So, when I ordered the fabric for the other two dresses, I ordered a little extra with Indigo in mind.  With it, I made a Lazy Days skirt with a matching appliqued shirt for her.

The Lazy Days Skirt is a simple and free(!) pattern offered by Oliver + S.   Rather than finish the skirt with its usual ribbon hem, I decided to try a contrasting fabric hem instead.  Liesl wrote a great tutorial on how to do a hem facing.  To finish the skirt with a contrasting fabric hem, she suggests you reverse the directions of the hem facing.   This way the facing shows on the right side of the skirt rather than the wrong side of the skirt.  

As I worked my way through the tutorial reversing the directions, I found myself a little confused at one point and ended up doing some seam ripping.  Since I believe in swear-free sewing, I wanted to lay out how I did this hem, with photos.  That way if you, like me, are doing late night sewing you won't have to think too hard.  I'm basing this entire tutorial on the hem facing tutorial by Liesl from Oliver + S.  Each step will correspond with her steps here.

1.  This first step is the same as the Oliver + S tutorial.

2.  Pin the right side of the facing to the wrong side of the skirt, matching seams and raw edges.  Sew with a 1/2" seam.

3.  Press the seam allowance toward the skirt.  Press the facing away from the skirt, as pictured below.

Understitch the seam allowance to the main skirt fabric, 1/8" away from the seam.  This will ensure that the wrong side of the skirt does not show from the front of the skirt.

You can see there are two rows of stitching in the above photo.  The bottom row is the understitching.

4.  After you trim the seam allowance, press the hem facing up toward your skirt.

The wrong side of your skirt now looks like this

5.  Edgestitch the top of the hem facing to the skirt.  I used contrasting thread.

The wrong side of your skirt now look like this

That's it!  You're done with your Lazy Days Skirt with contrasting fabric hem!

Lazy days, though?  Don't count on it!


  1. So great! I have endless half yards of great fabric I need to turn into cute skirts but I wasn't in the mood to go find ribbon for all of them. I was so happy to see this solution on your blog and I made my first one last night. The Benevolent Dictator wore it to school today and kept stopping on the way to spin in her new "spinny skirt." I posted a pick on the O&S flickr group if you'd like to see what you inspired. Thanks!


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