HomeDec Tech: Hand-Sewn Hems in Drapery Panels

I love the look of hand-sewn hems.  Hand stitching is considered a high-end technique in the drapery-making world, not because it is technical, complex or unique but because it is so simple.   It is the simplicity of the stitch.   The intimate, personal attention and care given to the materials while cradled in the sewers hands.


Hand-sewing is more expensive because it takes more time.  In the drapery workroom time = money.  It can’t be rushed and it is worth waiting for.  The stitching has a slow rhythm which means that if you order draperies with hand sewn hems your project will have extra attention, spending more time in the hands of the craftsman.


If you are making your own draperies, hand-sewn hems are inexpensive to create.  You probably already have the tools and supplies you will need: needle, thread, pins and scissors or nippers.  That’s it!


The stitching technique is basic and easy to learn. I have created a video to teach you how!

Hand-Sewn Hem Video Tutorial

I hope you enjoy learning how to hand sew.  If you use this technique let me know what you think!

Best Wishes,




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  1. Colleen at Oct 01, 2013 06:14:49

    Great info! Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. Frances Pusch at Oct 02, 2013 03:06:25

    Terrific demo! Other than lined or unlined when do you prefer to do one or other of the hemming methods? Is the first considered a touch more high end? (Gotta love those perfect nails!!)

  3. HomeDecGal at Nov 21, 2013 12:28:45

    Hello Frances,
    I almost always use the method where the thread is hidden inside them hem because that’s what my hands just do….they are on auto! It is a cleaner look but the other way is much, much faster which is nice when I use my human brain and remember to do it that way. :)

  4. Jane Stasney at Dec 17, 2013 01:30:33

    Susan, you may recognize me from GCWA or Rowley customer……….I have hand sewn my bottom hems and side hems for over 26 years. My issue is that as a workroom I have no idea how to charge for this with designers. I also compete with the workrooms who use a blindstitch machine and probably charge less for their work. Please give me your feedback on this. I cannot afford to lose my current clientele due to raising my labor prices.

  5. HomeDecGal at Dec 17, 2013 04:07:04

    Hello Jane,
    Hand sewing takes more time than blind hemming by machine, which will make the labor more because time = money in the workroom. It’s a specialty! If you would like to email me I am happy to discuss in more detail at

  6. Lorraine Bernstein at Feb 11, 2014 12:15:09

    Loved this video, Susan. Now I know how to knot the end and sew pretty hems. Thanks.

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