Create a Scalloped Skirt Hem

Interlocking Scallops by Kathy Barnard


Scallops can be used in many ways to add interesting lines to garments. One of our favorite uses for this unique design element is the scalloped hem. There are a number of commercial dress patterns around that feature scalloped hemlines, but have no fear if you don’t have one handy! This tutorial by Kathy Barnard from our May/June 2011 edition will show you how to easily add a scalloped hem to any basic skirt pattern.

1. Cut a skirt to desired finished hem with no hem allowance.

2. On wrong side, draw a line 2 inches from bottom edge across skirt.

Figure 1

3. Make a template using a large 7-inch circle. Mark a line 3/4 inch from circle center and draw a line across it to establish scallop height at 3/4 inch (fig. 1). Cut off top of circle to use for a wave template (should be approximately 5-3/4 inches long).

Figure 2

4. On wrong side of skirt, starting at side seam line (1/2 inch from edge), draw a half scallop above the line, then flip the template and draw a whole scallop bellow the line. Continue drawing nine whole scallops across front, alternating them above and below the 2-inch line. End with a half scallop facing up. Leave a 1/2-inch seam allowance and trim off side of skirt to fit if necessary to keep scallops even and math easy (fig. 2). Repeat for back skirt. Do not cut out scallops.

5. Tear two hem facing strips from skirt fabric or from a solid lining fabric 4-1/4 inches by width of fabric. Cut to exact measurement of skirt front and back.

6. Sew side seams of skirt together and sides seams of facing together.

7. If applying trim, draw a line 1 inch above wavy line on right side of skirt and glue baste trim in place. Stitch trim in place before adding facing (a double needle is great for applying spaghetti bias, or use clear thread and a buttonhole stitch on your machine and stitch both sides).

8. Place facing to bottom of skirt with right sides together and pin all around in a tube.


Figure 3

9. Stitch following the traced wavy line on the wrong side of the skirt (fig. 3).

10. Trim 1/4 inch from stitching and clip inner curves and notch outer curves. Turn facing to inside and press wavy seam edge.

11. For contrast peek-a-boo band, tear contrast fabric 10-1/2 inches by width of fabric. Cut to match bottom width of skirt and sew side seams together to form a tube. Fold tube in half with wrong sides together, matching raw edges and press fold.

12. Separate hem facing from skirt and pin raw edges of contrast band to raw edge of facing with right sides together. Stitch with a serger, or straight stitch and overcast edge with a zigzag.

13. Pin facing and contrast band seam to inside of skirt and blind stitch or pick stitch catching just a thread of the skirt fabric to hold facing and band in place.

For more sewing ideas, don’t miss our new 2011 Sew Beautiful Collection CD. This CD includes all six issues of Sew Beautiful magazine from 2011, complete with printable patterns, project templates, sewing tips, technique tutorials and endless inspiration!

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful,
Cyndi and Amelia

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