Friday, November 18, 2016

Sparkle Stitches~ Scallop Hem Tutorial

I did a scallop tutorial a few years ago, but here is a redo anyway! It's a good basic skill to have.

I like the effect of scallops, but they are really rather fiddly and time-consuming. There are also many small mistakes to watch out for! So now I'd like to share the things I've learned over the years.

*Matching fabric at least 10cm wide X hem length
*Matching thread
*Sharp shears

Step 1: Cut and finish the facing. Cut your facing wide enough for your scallops, and as long as your skirt hem is wide. For mine, I had to attach two widths of 45" fabric together to make this strip. If you plan to add a lining, you can sew your facing to your lining. This time, I am only using a facing.  Overlock the free top edge if you are not attaching it to a lining.
Step 2: Pin facing, draw scallops, and stitch. I did a quick drawing on Photoshop to show the scallops ^^; My actual scallops are semicircles, but feel flee to experiment with the curve of your scallops!

Tip! Pin along your sewing line (the curves) rather than along the cut edge of your skirt hem. The facing may still move slightly while stitching if your pins are too far away from your stitching line!

Tip 2! Take one horizontal stitch (parallel to the waistband) at the point/valley between each scallop. It will help you when trimming and turning your finished project! If your fabric is thick (such as velvet) take two stitches.
Pin and stitch
Step 3: Trim your hem. Cut away the excess fabric at the hem. Leave a narrow allowance of around 0.5cm. At the point/valley between each scallop, trim as close as possible to the horizontal stitch without cutting through your stitching line.
Step 4: Notch the scallops. The easiest way I've found to notch the curves of the scallops is pictured below.  Notching is essential to allow for a smooth finish when you turn your hem to the right side!

4a: Fold the area you'd like to notch in half. Match the stitching lines together so you don't accidentally cut through your stitching line (indicated in blue)
4b: Make a diagonal cut. Cut close to your stitching line (indicated in blue) without cutting through it.

4c: Open!! When you unfold your scallop, you will see that a notch has been formed! By cutting this way, you take only one snip per notch, and you are cutting away from the stitching line rather than towards it. This will save you from accidentally cutting too far and creating a hole in your scallop!
Repeat all the way around the curves. The more curved your scallops are, the more notches you will need.
Many notches!
Step 5: Turn and press. Turn your project to the right side and press all your scallops. Take your time pushing out all the curves to make them smooth.
Turn and press
Step 6: Top stitch. Top stitch your scallops to help them hold their shape.
Step 7: Finish. Stitch down your facing either with a straightstitch all around and then cover the stitching line with lace, or use an invisible stitch to secure the free edge to the fashion fabric. If you used a lining, you can just finish your skirt as usual at this step.
(Mostly) finished skirt
The black lace I ordered hasn't come in yet T^T But I intend to add a band of wide black lace over the scallops to help break up the print of this skirt!

An example of a skirt with lace covering the facing stitching:
Example from Metamorphose
 An example of a JSK with scallops EVERYWHERE!  You can see that there is no visible stitching on the outside, so they were likely finished with a full lining.
Example from Angelic Pretty
I hope you found this helpful. If there are any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or email me directly!

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