Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tutorial on Sewing Tulip Hem

Tutorials on Sewing: Tulip Hem
hem sewing tutorial

Tulip hem is being seen a lot in the dresses these days, especially for women. Its an easy way to add some interest to a pattern with a simple bodice. It also gives more coverage while allowing ease of movement that dresses lack sometimes. I thought I will share how to sew tulip hem in a separate tutorial.

Level: Beginner
Time: 15 - 30 mins for just the skirt
Materials: For kids up to 5 years we could make a decent tulip hem skirt in half yard, for kids  5 - 10 years 1 yard would be a good amount to begin with.
Ric-Rac - 1.5 yards (optional)
Sewing margins: 
Hemline : 1/4 inch
Top edge: 3/8 inch
Pattern free/self drafted


how to hem dress
With the half yard fabric place it such that its shorter ends align.

how to sew tutlip hem

Cut out an arc on both layers. For my skirt I cut out an arc of 8 inches x 6 inches. The rule of thumb I followed was to begin the arc at about two-third of both length and width.

sewing tulip hem in a dress

Turn the fabric inside 1/4 inch or as little as you can. Turning only a narrow margin will ensure that you don't get waves or gathers around the curved part.

how to sew ric-rac
If you want to finish it with a ric-rac, sew the ric-rac on the right side, otherwise just fold it one more time and sew, and you will have a finished hem. For the ric-rac, try to keep your needle in the center of the ric-rac but don't worry if all your stitches don't catch ric-rac. That is normal because of the wavy shape of ric-rac. In the picture above we left the ric-rac ends unfinished because this end will be sewn to the bodice anyway.

sew on ric-rack
If you chose to finish with ric-rac in the earlier step, now you fold the ric-rac on the inside such that half of it is peeking on the outside. Now sew a seam as close to the edge as possible on the right side. This will keep the ric-rac firmly pressed on the inside.

gather a skirt

Now sew a seam along the unfinished edge with the longest stitch size, do not back stitch. Pull the thread gently to gather the skirt to match the size of bodice.

tulip hem sewing tutorial

Now petal skirts are usually stitched as wrap skirts, meaning the two ends of the skirt are open and overlapping. In that case you don't need to gather the part that will get overlapped as much. In the case of the dress shown above, you can see that the right front side of the skirt is overlapped by the left front. So it will be helpful if you keep the gathers in the right side minimum and try to gather the left end more.

And that is all there to make a tulip hem, easy peasy!

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