Double Fold Hem – Easy Step by Step Double Hems

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A double fold hem is a type of hem where the edge is folded twice so that the raw edge is completely tucked in and will not fray. It is considered the most durable type of hem and is commonly found in the majority of sewing patterns. The hem can vary from narrow to wide.

Double Fold HemPinDouble Fold Hem


What is a Double Fold hem?Supplies To Do a Double Fold HemHow to Do a Double Fold HemStep 1 – Wrong SideStep 2 – Seam AllowanceStep 3 – PressingStep 4 – StitchingStep 5 – FinishAlternatives to a Double Fold Hem Double Fold Hems FAQsWhat is the Difference Between a Single Hem and a Double Hem?What is a Double Rolled Hem Used For?Double Fold Hems – In ConclusionMore Hem ArticlesHems on ClothingDouble Fold HemToolsMaterialsInstructions

What is a Double Fold hem?

A double fold hem is a hem that is folded twice before stitching. Double fold hems are used for woven fabrics rather than stretch fabrics. The width of your hem can vary according to the item you are sewing and your personal preference.

These hems are the most commonly used type of hem as the raw edges are tucked inside meaning they can withstand many washes without fraying.

Further Reading:

How to Sew Stretch FabricHow to Hem Knit Fabric

Supplies To Do a Double Fold Hem

You will need a measuring tool such as a ruler or seam gauge. Seam gauges are small sewing tools with a movable slider that are great for measuring small distances. Matching bobbin and top thread.Pins.

How to Do a Double Fold Hem

Step 1 – Wrong Side

First, turn your fabric to the wrong side. Hems are always sewn on the wrong side so that all that is visible on the right side is a neat single row of stitches.

Step 2 – Seam Allowance

Work out what is the seam allowance of the hem. This means how much extra fabric is added to the length of the item to allow for the hem.

Decide if you want a double fold hem that is comprised of equal folds or unequal.

For example, if your seam allowance at the hem is 2 inches. You could fold the hem twice by 1 inch or fold it once by ½ inch and then the second time by 1 ½ inches.

Folding it in equal parts usually results in a stiffer hem.

As a general rule, fold equally for narrow double fold hems and unequally for wider hems.

Step 3 – Pressing

Pressing Unequally – In this tutorial, I will do a seam allowance of 1 inch (2.5cm) which I will divide into ¼ inch (6mm) for the first press and ¾ inch (2cm) for the second press.

¾ inch (2cm) hems are quite common in women`s clothing on sleeve edges and bottom hems.

Press your raw edge up by ¼ inch (6mm) all the way around the hem. Press it up again either by a wider amount. I am going to do my second press as ¾ inch (2cm).

Pressing Equally – Press the hem up by two equal amounts. For example ½ inch and ½ inch (12mm).

Here is the first fold.

First Fold of a Double Fold HemFirst Fold of a Double Fold HemPinFirst Fold of a Double Fold Hem

This is the second fold. If you are pressing equally you don`t need to measure again since you are folding by the same amount.

Second Fold of a Double Fold HemSecond Fold of a Double Fold HemPinSecond Fold of a Double Fold Hem

Step 4 – Stitching

Pin the pressed-up hem first. I like to pin horizontally to hold the hem in place but vertically will work for wider hems.

Stitch all the way around the inside of the folded hem on the wrong side. You want to stitch about ⅛ inch (3mm) from the edge.

MACHINE STITCHING – Use an average stitch length of 2.5 and your all-purpose presser foot.

At the beginning and end of your stitching, you can seal the ends by backstitching. This means you go backward about 3 stitches to prevent the stitching from coming undone.

Stitching a Double Fold HemStitching a Double Fold HemPinStitching a Double Fold Hem

For an almost invisible hem use a matching bobbin color as this is what will show on the outside. The top thread will show on the inside so while it is nice for it to match it is not so important.

Double Fold HemDouble Fold HemPinDouble Fold Hem

HANDSTITCHING A DOUBLE FOLD HEM – A double fold hem can be easily handstitched using a running stitch. This easy up and down stitch is suitable for beginners.

Step 5 – Finish

To finish your hem give it a final press. Even though you pressed previously, this final press really makes a difference and melds the thread into your fabric.

Alternatives to a Double Fold Hem

There are times when a double fold hem is either too bulky or doesn’t suit the item you are sewing.

Blind hem – Best for wider hens where a truly invisible hem is wanted. The easiest way to do a blind hem is with a special foot that comes with most machines. Bias bound hem – Great for thicker fabrics such as wool skirts where the hem edge is too thick to fold double. Sew the bias to the raw edge and then sew the other edge of the bias tape up. Round hems – While a double fold hem can be used for circular items, there are other easier ways that result in a better hem. Double fold hems on circular items can give puckering. Hand-stitched hem – Hand-stitched hems are not just for times you don’t have a sewing machine. Use them for delicate fabrics or for invisible perfect hems.Hemming Tape – This iron-on tape is used for a no-sew hem and is great for alterations and mending. Single fold hem – A single fold hem is used on thicker fabrics such as wool where folding twice would be too bulky.

Alternatives to Double Fold HemAlternatives to Double Fold HemPinAlternatives to Double Fold Hem

Double Fold Hems FAQs

What is the Difference Between a Single Hem and a Double Hem?

The difference between single and double hems is the number of times it is pressed over before stitching. A single fold hem is pressed over once then stitched and a double fold is pressed over twice so that the raw edge is encased.

What is a Double Rolled Hem Used For?

Double rolled hems are used for light to medium weight fabrics. The hem is folded over twice so that the raw edge is fully encased and cannot fray. It is considered the most widely used and durable type of hem.

Double Fold Hems – In Conclusion

So now you know how to do double fold hems you are well and truly on your way to making great garments.

More Hem Articles

GENERAL HEMS – How to Sew a Hem (This is the best article to read if you are not sure what kind of hem you need. It gives a rundown of all the most common types)NARROW HEMS – Sew a Narrow HemROLLED HEM FOOT – How to Use a Rolled Hem FootWIDE HEMS – How to Sew Wide HemsCIRCULAR HEMS – How to Sew Round HemsBLIND HEMS – How to Sew a Blind HemRUFFLED HEMS – Lettuce HemsKNIT FABRIC HEMS – How to Hem Knit Fabric, Catch StitchKNIT HEMS – Twin NeedleSQUARE HEMS – How to Sew Mitered CornersHAND HEMS – Hemming StitchNO SEW HEMS – How to Use Hemming TapeSIMPLE HEMS – Single Fold HemsDOUBLE HEMS – Double Fold HemsBIAS – Bias Tape HemsSCALLOPS – Scalloped EdgesINVISIBLE HEMS – Blind Hem Stitch

Hems on Clothing

Hemming a DressHem a SkirtHemming Pants

Double Fold HemDouble Fold HemPin

Double Fold Hem

Learn how to sew a double fold hem with this simple step by step tutorial.

4.9/5 – (17 votes)

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Difficulty: Easy Beginner

Keyword: Sewing

Total Time: 5minutes


Sewing Basics Pins, thread, ironRuler or Tape MeasureSewing machine




On the wrong side, press up the raw edge of the hem once by ¼ inch (6mm). Here we are going to do an uneven hem. If you are doing an equal double fold hem, then press by that amount instead. Double Fold HemDouble Fold HemPinPress up the hem a second time by ¾ inch (2cm) or by your chosen hem allowance. Double Fold HemDouble Fold HemPinStitch across the upper fold of the hem. Double Fold HemDouble Fold HemPin

4.9/5 – (17 votes)