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The Maria Apron Hem Tutorial

While we were prepping our PDF patterns for a new adventure in print. I discovered an alternative way of stitching the curved hem on the back of The Maria Apron.

Either way works, and as I always say, there is more than one way to stitch anything and the more information we have the better choices we can make to suit our needs! At the time I was stitching 4 stripey aprons factory-production-style and I found it quite useful.MAVEN PATTERNS_THE MARIA APRONMAVEN PATTERNS_MARIA APRON HEM TUTORIAL

Key |  WS: wrong side | S/A: seam allowance

The hem of The Maria Apron has a 1.5cm S/A that is double turned hem and footstitched. But you could do this little trick on any double turned curved hem.


Ready to hem | So here is the back of the apron, the body has been stitched, pockets in place and facings attached. Just the hem to finish.


Stitch | To help with double turning and pressing that hem, all we are going to do is add an extra row of stitching. Yep, that’s the tip – more stitching! But it does save a smidge of time as it’s a little easier to press the curve without having to constantly measure it. Start from under the back facing and machine a row of stitching 6mm from the raw edge all the way around the hem until you get to the other side. Finish underneath the facing again.MAVEN PATTERNS_THE MARIA APRON

Press | Press the raw edge of the hem to the WS using the stitch line as a guide. The stitch line should just be rolled to the WS as in the picture. It folds over very neatly and evenly without too much effort!


Press again| Fold again and press so the raw edge is completely enclosed. The stitch line is now hidden.


Tack | Tack the hem close to the folded edge, making sure you keep the hem width even.


Topstitch | Footstitch the hem. To do a footstitch, line up the foot of your sewing machine with the edge of your garment and topstitch. Make sure you catch all the allowance on the back. Give it a press and you’re finished!

You could use this on any double turned curve. My maths worked as follows 1.5cm S/A – 6mm for stitch line guide, x2 for double turn hem = 1.2cm + 3mm to allow for the turn of the cloth (allowance for the thickness of the folded edges). You can easily adjust accordingly for different hem allowances but bear in mind that curved hems don’t like a very deep S/A, and fine fabrics like chiffon won’t need an extra allowance for the turn of cloth.


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Curved Hem Tutorial – The Rochester Sewing Pattern

The Rochester Sewing Pattern_MAVEN PATTERNS

The Curved Hem Tutorial | The Rochester

The Rochester sewing pattern has a lovely curved hem detail with side splits and a topstitched facing. It’s one of my favourite things I’ve designed. But, because of the shape of the curve, you can’t just whip around the facing in one go, the facing needs to be stitched to the hem in stages. Also, you need to do the hem and facing step BEFORE you close the Centre Back seam or the back pleat won’t be a happy bunny. It’s not as tricky as it looks or sounds, just follow the Curved Hem Tutorial and take it step by step!

Side note: If you are not in charge of doing a tutorial you’re going to want to use matching thread and transfer your pattern marking with a water soluble fabric pen or chalk – not a fluorescent pink pen.


  1. With the right sides of fabric together (RST) close the side seams of the body panels and the hem facing. Stitch from the underarm to the DOT.

2. Make sure to stitch TO THE DOT, not past the dot. Yep, that’s the one I marked in fluorescent pink just for you.


3. Overlock (or neaten with your usual method) the body side seams and stop just past the dot, where the seam allowance (S/A) changes. Press the side seams OPEN.

Don’t overlock the facing side seams, they will be enclosed so it’s not necessary, but do overlock the outside edge. Take extra care on the curved bit – it can be a smidge tricky if you go too fast!

TIP: I just had a thought, you could bind the outside edge of that facing. It would look delightful!


4. Place RST and pin the facing to the body, line up at the side seams and notches.


5. Push all of the S/A out of the way….


7. Take a 6mm S/A. Start stitching from the CENTRE BACK towards the side seam, STOP at the marker dot.

curved hem tutorial MAVEN PATTERNS8. Now this side is a bit more fiddly. Again push all the S/A out of the way. It is easier to stitch UP to the dot, rather than away from the dot. Start stitching about 2.5cm (1″) below the dot and stitch towards it.

STOP at the dot, leave the machine needle in your garment, lift the machine foot and PIVOT your garment around a full 180°.

curved hem tutorial MAVEN PATTERNS

9. Drop your foot and stitch back in the right direction ON TOP of your stitchline. Continue around to the front hem and repeat at the other split/side seam.

10. When the facing is all attached, press the stitchline.

TIP! If you find you have got a teeny weeny hole at the junction of your seams DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT! Do check from the right side, but I bet when everything is in its right place you won’t notice. This one didn’t show at all from the right side once finished.

11. Understitch the facing, stopping below the apex of the split. Press again.

Tack down the outside edge of the facing to hold in place, line up the side seams.MAVEN_PATTERNS_CURVED_HEM_TUTORIAL

12. Grab your hem template pattern pieces. To make a template of anything take the original pattern piece trace on to card/heavy paper and cut away all S/A. Templates are a great way to ensure consistency for topstitching or pressing patch pockets.13. You’ll need to flip the template over to mark one side of your garment. Line up the edge of the template with the hem of garment, and the arrow on the template with top of split. Use a fabric marker pen and draw in a guide line to show you where to top stitch. The template is for the curved areas of your hem, use a ruler / tape measure to fill the gap in between.the arrow on template with top of split, and

14. And then just follow your guide for some jolly nice topstitching! Remove your tacking thread, give it a press and marvel at what a wondrous job you’ve done.

Now go finish the rest of it!