There’s no hiding the fact that circle skirts are one of my favorite things to sew. With my no-measure pattern, they are as quick and easy as they are adorable. But as straightforward as the design of a circle skirt is, the actual execution can easily trip up even an experienced seamstress.
Once you get your circle measured and cut, then you have to figure out how to hem it.
Circles are notorious for being difficult to hem. A curved edge just doesn’t fold up nicely like a straight edge does. This of course causes problems when you want to hem a circle skirt, a round tablecloth, or my project for today — a tree skirt!
There are many methods for achieving the perfect edge on a circle, but most of them take more time and effort than the skirt itself. When I’m whipping up a skirt in 30 minutes, I really don’t want to have to spend another hour just to finish the hem.
Traditionally, the best method is to sew, iron, pin, sew again, iron again, pin again, sew again. But who has time for all of that?
I’m all about shortcuts to get the best possible results with the least possible effort.
The first couple of circle skirts I ever sewed, I just rolled the hem as I went along. Let’s just say, that didn’t produce the best possible results. I tried and tried to keep my folding even, but I kept running off the edge because of the curve, and then I would have to correct it with funky wiggly extra folds. Just take a look at the bottom skirt below.
And honestly, it wasn’t actually especially easy either, because it didn’t go smoothly at all, it took more time and effort to attempt to fix it as I went along.
The top skirt in the picture I used what is advertised as a faster method, you skip the iron and instead just sew, pin, sew, pin, sew. Is it just me, or does that still sound like a lot of work?
So the next time I sewed a circle skirt, I thought I’d try to make the process even faster.
I expected that it wouldn’t look quite as smooth, but it would be worth the time saved.
I expected it might still be kind of awkward and difficult to try to fold as I went along instead of taking the time to pin.
I expected to kick myself afterwards for taking a shortcut and promising to myself to do it right the next time.
But when I actually tried it, I was shocked!
It was WAY easier than pinning, and still worked just as well!
So, are you ready to learn how to hem a circle?
It’s as easy as 1-2-3. Just sew, sew, and sew again.
- Sew a straight stitch around the edge of the circle.
- Using the stitch as a guide, fold the edge over and sew it down. Having that initial line there is like some kind of magic, instead of running off the edge, your fold actually stays nice and even as you go along. Just hold onto the fabric where it folds, and stretch it slightly as you sew, and the curved edge will straighten just enough to give you a nice smooth line.
- Fold over once again to finish the hem and cover the raw edge. Once again, just fold it a few inches at a time and stretch it slightly to keep it straight.
That’s all there is to it!
Move on with your life with your beautiful non-pinned non-ironed circular hem!