Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: Maxi Dress Week Day 4: Edge finishes and Hems


Maxi Dress Week Day 4: Edge finishes and Hems

Last we have edge finishes and hems. These are the hardest for me because my project is basically finished now, and I can try it on. It's hard for me to push through to the end and completely finish.

Edge Finishes (Both edge finishes I show you today that I did on my necklines are stretchy and open enough to still have nursing access.)
1. Attaching ribbing. Ribbing is technically a kind of fabric that you can use, but you can also use the same fabric you made your dress from. Now I'm going to tell you a secret about ribbing that I wish someone would have told me when I first started sewing. Something I didn't learn in any sewing classes and had to research online. When using ribbing, cut it to be 2/3 the length of the original edge. For example, my neckline was 24". I cut my ribbing 16.5" long, .5" for seam allowance. The width of my ribbing was 1.5".
Sew it into a circle.
Divide your circle and your edge into 4.
With your right side facing the wrong side of your edge, match up the four pins. Pin in between pins stretching to find the middle.
Sew with a zigzag and stretch as you sew.
 It should look like this. The raw edges are on the outside.
Fold over the unattached edge 1/4", the same amount as the other raw edge.
Fold it down so that the fold covers up the stitches. Pin.
Sew with a slight zigzag or a double needle. The finished product should look like this.
2. I finished my other dress with fold-over elastic. It is something extra to buy, but I really, really like the look of it. It's really, really easy to sew also. I got mine at SewZanne's Fabrics. I've never found it in a physical store.

For a more in-depth look at hemming knits, check out Made By Rae's Hemming Knits.
1. The very easiest hem to do would be to leave it raw. I left my gray skirt raw because I cut it out smoothly, and I wanted it to be very soft and flowy. (All other hems make the fabric a tiny bit stiffer.)
2. Another easy hem to do is to sew with a zigzag. Some people don't like this look, but I thought it went well with the overall dress. It is probably the softest hem besides a raw hem. (Don't mind my yellow bobbin thread.)
3. Sewing with a double needle. This is the closest you can get to a manufactured look. It looks very nice, but I have found it to be pretty stiff. That might be a user error though. This is pretty easy to do too. (I did serge this end before I sewed with a double needle, but you don't have to.)

4. A really easy hem to do without a special needle is to attach a band. To find the how much fabric you need, measure the circumference of your hem and add seam allowance. Find how long you want your band, double it and add seam allowance. My skirt hem was 79" and I wanted a 3" band, so I cut out two pieces that were 40"x14".
Sew your band into a circle. (Don't mind my splotchy fabric. I was in the process of dying it to match my dress.)
Fold your band in half and divide it into four and mark with pins on the raw edges. Divide your hem into four and mark with pins.
Match up the pins: raw edges to raw edges. Pin in between pins.
Sew with a zigzag all the way around.
It'll look like this when you're done, but don't forget to iron! I ironed mine, and it looked so good.


  1. So I am not the only one who uses whatever bobbin thread I have the most of on a bobbin for any project? Good to know. :)
    Thanks for showing different ways to finish a project. I am excited to get sewing on my project!

  2. I have found fold over elastic at Hobby Lobby recently. Just thought you'd like to know...

    1. Oh my gosh, really!? Hobby Lobby isn't a store I frequent, and I never thought to check there! Thank you!

  3. This week of maxi dresses has been great! I wish I had time to join in...but I'm definitely using the tutorials for the future!

  4. Also, love the ribbing! I never thought of adding this to my hems but it looks beautiful.


09 10 11