How to Finish the Hem on a Satin Dress


Satin dresses remain a common garment in many wardrobes because of the beauty and shine of the fabric with which they are made. However, satin is a delicate and slippery material. If you need to hem a satin gown or dress, follow a specific procedure to ensure the hem looks professional and lasts for years. This process requires a sewing machine, items found in your sewing kit and basic sewing skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat iron
  • Satin dress to be hemmed
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors (if shortening the dress)
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread, poly-cotton blend
  • Preheat the iron to the satin setting. Check the manufacturer's directions to determine the correct setting. Do not set the iron higher than the recommended temperature for satin; satin is a delicate material that may melt when exposed to high heat.

  • Determine exactly where you will cut off the excess fabric if you have to shorten the dress. This measurement will be the length of the finished garment plus 1/2 inch. The extra 1/2 will be used for the hem. Trim off the excess fabric. If you are not shortening the dress, omit this step.

  • Fold the raw edge of the dress under 1/4 inch toward the inside of the garment. Press the fold with the hot preheated iron to sharpen the crease and keep it in place.

  • Fold up the edge of the dress 1/4 to the inside one more time. Press to sharpen the crease.

  • Stitch the hem into place with the sewing machine. Keep your line of straight stitching just under 1/4 inch from the folded edge of the dress. Press the finished hem one more time.

Tips & Warnings

  • To disguise the thread, use a thread that is similar in color to the fabric.
  • Do not pin the hem in place. Doing so can damage a delicate fabric such as satin.

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  • "The Encyclopedia of Sewing Techniques"; Wendy Gardiner; 2003
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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