Technique Tutorial: Heirloom Hidden Hem


Jeannie’s precious baby daydress

Did you know today, Feb. 6, is Lace Day? Not that we heirloom sewists need any extra reason to celebrate lace, but celebrate we shall with a fabulous lace technique! This heirloom hidden hem tutorial from Jeannie Downs Baumeister of The Old Fashioned Baby was featured in our March/April 2011 issue of Sew Beautiful. It’s an easy, elegant way to hide the raw edge of the fabric within the lace insertion so that both the outside and the inside reveal a clean finish. Jeannie used the technique here on her sweet “Baby Daydresses” pattern – you can use it to add a beautiful finish to any dress pattern.

It’s sure to add the perfect finishing touch to those heirloom garments you’re working on for Easter or another upcoming special occasion! For the hem, you’ll need 1/4- to 3/8-inch wide lace insertion (wider for larger dresses), 1/2- to 3/4-inch lace edging, Madeira 80wt fine machine sewing thread (color to match lace) and a blue wash-away fabric marker.


Heirloom Hidden Hem

Heirloom Hidden Hem by Jeannie Downs Baumeister:

Construct dress according to pattern instructions up to the point of stitching the second side seam. You should have only one side seam sewn together when you apply lace insertion.

1. Cut lace insertion to fit hem circumference. Lightly starch and press.

2. Using fabric marker, draw lace placement line 1/4 inch from raw edge of hem on wrong side of dress. Align lower edge of lace insertion to lace placement line, with right side of lace to wrong side of fabric.


3. Using fine 80wt thread and a narrow zigzag (L=1.0; W=1.0 – 1.5) stitch lace to fabric along header edge (Photo 1).


4. Press hem up to right side and lace down. Then flip lace to right side over hem and lightly starch and press again so that lace lies flat against right side of dress fabric. Pin in place. NOTE: For more control, I like to hand stitch lace edge to dress using a hand running stitch, a #10 sharps needle and the same fine sewing thread. This will create a nicer finish than a machine stitch, however, if preferred, you may zigzag or straight stitch lace in place (Photo 2).

5. Sew lace edging to lace edge of hemmed dress.

6. Stitch remaining side seam of dress with a French seam and complete dress per pattern instructions.

Check out our online store for more Lace Day fun. Whether you want to stock up on beautiful French lace, learn lace techniques with a DVD workshop or try out great notions like the Shape ‘N Press lace shaping board, we’ve got all your lace needs covered.

We’re gearing up for our upcoming March School of Art Fashion Boutique events! We’ll be heading first to Lakeland, FL March 14-16 and then to Cleveland, OH March 29-30. Be sure to visit our live events site to explore all the course options and reserve your spot.

Internet Embroidery Club members, be sure to log in to your accounts and download our new February designs! This month’s collection includes two gorgeous shamrock designs.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin

2 thoughts on “Technique Tutorial: Heirloom Hidden Hem


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.