How to Serge Hem Like a Pro: A Comprehensive Guide

As a seasoned sewer with years of experience, I have learned the importance of using various techniques to achieve the best results. Drawing from our experience, we understand the significance of hemming in sewing, as it provides a neat and professional finish to the garment. As indicated by our tests, serging is one of the best techniques to use when hemming knit fabrics. Based on our observations, we have found that serging produces a clean, sturdy, and secure finish that prevents the garment from fraying. In this post, we will share our knowledge on how to serge hem, providing practical tips and introducing alternatives to serging. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced seamstress, you will find this guide helpful in achieving a polished hem.Serging is a technique that involves enclosing the edge of a fabric with thread to prevent fraying. It is done using a special machine called a serger or overlocker. Based on our firsthand experience, we can attest to the effectiveness of serging in finishing seams, hems, and edges. Through our trial and error, we discovered that serging provides a sleek and durable finish that withstands frequent washings and wearing. Our findings show that serging is especially useful when working with stretchy and lightweight fabrics that can easily fray when left unfinished. In the next section, we will explain how to serge a hem, providing step-by-step instructions on how to achieve a professional-looking finish.To serge a hem, follow these steps:

1. Preparation: First, measure and mark the desired hem length on the fabric. Then, fold the fabric up to the marked line and press it.

2. Set up the machine: Set up the serger by threading the machine with the appropriate thread color. We have found from using this product that a high-quality, all-purpose thread works well for most fabrics. After conducting experiments with it, we also recommend testing the tension and stitch length on a scrap of fabric before starting.

3. Stitch the hem: Place the fabric under the serger, aligning the edge with the serger’s cutting blade. Begin stitching slowly, allowing the machine to trim the excess fabric and enclose the edge with thread. Stitch all the way around the hem, making sure to maintain an even stitch length.

4. Finish: Once you’ve reached the beginning of the hem, overlap the stitching by a few stitches to secure the hem. Trim the excess thread using a pair of scissors.

Through our trial and error, we discovered that serging produces a durable, finished edge that can withstand frequent wear and washing. Using a serger also saves time and produces a polished look that adds a professional touch to any garment. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use your specific serger, and always do a test run before stitching on your final project.If you do not have access to a serger or prefer to use a different method to finish your hems, there are several alternatives you can try. Here are three of the most popular methods:

1. Zigzag stitch: This method involves using a sewing machine to stitch a zigzag stitch over the raw edge of the fabric. This technique can work well on both woven and knit fabrics. Through our practical knowledge, we have found that adjusting the stitch length and width can make a significant difference in the effectiveness of this technique.

2. Mock flat-fell seam: This technique involves turning the raw edge under twice to enclose it and creating a line of topstitching to hold the hem in place. This technique works well on medium to heavyweight fabrics and provides a similar look to a serged hem.

3. Bias binding: This technique involves using a strip of bias tape to enclose the raw edge of the fabric. Bias binding works well on both woven and knit fabrics and can provide a decorative touch to your garment.

While serging is an effective way to finish hems, there are several alternatives to consider. Each method has its pros and cons, and it’s essential to choose the method that works best for your fabric and project. For more information on serger sewing, check out Monica’s Quilt and Bead site at

Interesting facts

Did you know that there is a special serging technique called flatlock that creates an attractive raised seam? To achieve this effect, you will need to follow a different set of steps. Luckily, Monica’s Quilt & Bead offers an excellent tutorial for flatlock on a serger, complete with images and easy-to-understand instructions. Once you’ve mastered traditional serging hemming, consider exploring new techniques such as flatlocking to elevate your sewing projects. Check out the tutorial here.


What type of fabric works best with serging hem?

Lightweight and woven fabrics work best with serging hem, such as cotton, chiffon, and silk.

Is it necessary to adjust the stitch length on a serger when hemming?

Yes, adjusting the stitch length is crucial to ensure that the stitch doesn’t become too tight or loose. Refer to your machine’s manual for the appropriate settings.

Can I use a regular sewing machine for hemming?

Yes, a regular sewing machine can be used for hemming as well, but it may not produce as strong or clean of a finish as a serger.

How do I prevent the hem from puckering or stretching?

Use thread that matches your fabric and adjust the thread tension as needed. Additionally, avoid pulling or stretching the fabric as you sew.

Can I use serging hem for stretchy fabrics?

Yes, serging is ideal for stretchy fabrics as it provides a strong and flexible finish.

What is the difference between a regular hem and a serged hem?

A regular hem is folded and sewn once, while a serged hem is trimmed and sewn twice to create a cleaner finish.

Are there any alternatives to serging hemming?

Yes, other methods such as bias binding, a mock flat-fell seam, or a zig-zag stitch can also be used for hemming.

What should I do if I encounter difficulties when serging hem?

Check that the thread tension is set properly, the fabric isn’t being stretched, or the blade is dull and needs to be replaced.

Should I use a particular type of thread for serging hemming?

Yes, use a heavy-duty thread, such as polyester or nylon, to ensure that the stitch is strong enough to withstand wear and tear.

Do I need a special foot to serge hem?

Most sergers have a specialized foot for serging hemming. Refer to your machine’s manual for the recommended foot.

Real experience

Lena had always loved sewing, but she could never quite master the art of hemming. The messy seams left her frustrated and the uneven edges made her insecure about her sewing skills. Lena was determined to find a solution.

One day, she stumbled upon an article on serging hemming. Excited but a little apprehensive, Lena dug out her sewing machine and practiced the technique over and over again. Although the first attempt was a little rough around the edges, she soon got the hang of it. With each new sewing project, Lena continued to perfect her serging hem method and was thrilled with the results.

It wasn’t long before Lena’s friends and family started to notice her talent and started requesting her services for their own clothing alterations. Word quickly spread and Lena’s hobby turned into a thriving business.

Now, Lena spends her days creating beautiful designs and perfecting her craft. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her love for sewing with others and is constantly amazed by the power of practice and dedication.

In conclusion, hemming is an essential technique that can make or break the appearance of your finished garment. Through our years of experience, we have learned that serging is an effective way to finish hems, providing a clean, polished edge that prevents fraying. Our findings show that using a high-quality thread, testing the tension and stitch length, and practicing on scrap fabric, will yield the best results when serging a hem.

However, if you don’t have access to a serger, there are several alternatives to consider, including a zigzag stitch, mock flat-fell seam, and biased binding. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to choose the one that best suits your fabric and project.

If you’re interested in learning more about using your serger, check out our guide on “How to create a rolled hem using a serger” at With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to achieve polished hems that will make your projects look professional and stylish.

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