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Apr 17, 2014

Lace Shirt, DAY 3 -- Creating a Scalloped Hem

I decided to go for the scalloped shirt back hem, an idea I mentioned in yesterday's post.

As you know the shirt fronts, which are lace, are trimmed to the scalloped edge of the lace.  Here's how the lace appears uncut for just this purpose (not necessarily for a hem of course).  I love that the design incorporates this option.

You can see below (sort of) that the back of the shirt, which I subsequently hemmed roughly 1/2", looks too long compared to the scalloped lace front.

So here's what I did:

First, I lined up a piece of my remaining lace with my back edge, and traced the scallop shapes (on the wrong side of the shirting), paying particular attention to the places where the lace ends and the cotton shirting begins.  I wanted the transition to look smooth.

Next, I cut a facing strip roughly 2" wide, tracing the slight curve of my original back pattern piece.  I used gingham because I didn't have enough light gray shirting.

I pinned the facing to the shirt bottom, right sides together, and stitched my scallops.  I turned in the side edges so that no raw edges would be visible when I turned the facing to the inside.  (These will get stitched to the side seams invisibly.)

Next, I trimmed as close to the scallops as I could, clipping where necessary.

I now turned the facing to the inside of the shirt.  With the aid of a point presser and an iron, I carefully shaped each scallop, making sure a scant 1/8" of the gray shirting was visible from the wrong side of the shirt, guaranteeing that no gingham will peek out the bottom. 

The right side now looked like this:

I edgestitched the scallops to keep them crisp-looking and to hold the facing in place.

I wasn't sure how to finish the top edge of the facing.  I could fold the raw edge under and handstitch it in place, but the thick horizontal seam would show through the shirt when I ironed it.

In the end, I decided to add a line of topstitching parallel to the original edgestitching, and to carefully trim the facing up to the stitch line.  Since the scallop edges are on the bias, they don't fray.

There you have it: a lovely scalloped hem. 

And the facing is decorative too!

This is a technique you can use on any garment -- on a hem, neckline, or sleeve edge.

Have you ever made a scalloped hem?  How did you do it?

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. i love that you said "i'll figure out the hem," very calmly and easily, and then you did it. beautiful.

  2. I am a grasshopper, I learn so much from you. Seriously. YOU are FAB!

  3. Your scalloped hem is really beautiful, can't wait to see how your shirt will turn out Peter.

  4. That looks amazing! It definitely fits better with the lace now!

  5. This shirt is really creative! I've done scalloped edges on quilts, but you cut them scalloped and use bias binding. I liked the inside with the black gingham edge as well.

  6. Brilliant! The topstitching echos the dense part of the lace! Beautiful!

  7. Very nice technique. It reminds me of our old-school Easter dresses, when little girls actually used to wear Easter dresses.

  8. Love it. The curves mirror the lace brilliantly.

  9. I'm doing scallops at the moment too! And I almost did something similar with the lining as well. But I was thinking double layering the lining rather them facing as the lining I got was a bit too thin / see-thru. In the end though I just did temporary stiffener & manual zig-zag edge stitch to embroider the scallop edge. All 400 of them (half on fashion fabric half on lining)! I thought my fabric would be better suited to a frayed Piratey look.

  10. Wow, that looks brilliant!

  11. Scallops are easy. I turned up a hem to the right side; marked divisions the "easy math" way (fold and mark equal divisions around hem); pinned for the dips (every other fold); stitched around the hem (I eyeball, but you can draw in the scoops); clipped at the dips; turned and pressed scallops. You can then finish the upper hem any way you like. I generally handstitch with a locking stitch. Or, you can do the whole thing inside out and have a facing-as-trim on the outside of a garment, by using a contrasting fabric instead of turning up the bottom edge of the garment.

  12. I think you are really going to enjoy this shirt. With all the interesting details you are's going to be fun to put it on in the morning.

  13. I've been going over and over in my head how I would hem a scalloped edge for weeks and now I've found this! Thank you so much for this!


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