Hemming the Marfy Coat, a Tutorial

Toby asked about hemming the coat, so I figured it was worth showing what I did. There are lots of different ways to hem coats, depending on the finished look you desire. You can interface the hem, in which case you hand stitch bias-cut 2 or 3 inch wide interfacing (for a coat you usually use hair canvas) along the hemming line. You can also pad the hem with a 2-inch strip of lambswool. I didn’t do either of those for my coat. I didn’t want to add any body to the hem, and I didn’t want to have a very soft edge, which the interfacing and lambswool would do, respectively.

The first thing I did was to trim out a triangle of fabric within the seam allowances at the hemline, to reduce bulk:

Trimming a triangle on both sides of the SA, with the point close to the seam, eliminates much bulk when folded.

I pinned up my hem (2 inches, in this case)

Note there is fullness that needs to be eliminated, thanks to the cut of the hem.

Now, there are several ways to eliminate the fullness at the hem. One is to use a gathering stitch to ease the fullness into the hem. That works very well with lightweight fabrics, especially when you have a circle skirt or any other type of skirt where there is a pretty good-sized difference in the circumference of the raw edge and the hem. Another thing you can do is to cut little triangles out of the hem allowance. That also works very well when you are dealing with a large cut-edge/hem circumference differential. But neither of those were really appropriate here, thanks to both the hem and the type of fabric that I’m using. Instead, I decided to shrink out the excess with steam and a very light hand

I don’t put the iron on the fabric, but hold it about 1/8th inch above and steam it like crazy

This leaves a soft, rather than sharp, hem.

Much better fit!

Shrinking it down took just a little time, and once it was done, I used a catch-stitch to secure the hem.

Yeah, that looks pretty nice

To affix the lining, I pressed a ½ inch hem along the bottom. I matched this to the raw edge of the coat hem and used a slipstitch to attach it to the coat hem.

Lining attached to the coat

And a closer view


So that’s how I do it. No rocket science. I’ll do the same thing on the sleeves, then I’ll attach the closures and be done. Hopefully it will be all finished this week. Hope that helps, and
Happy sewing!

14 thoughts on “Hemming the Marfy Coat, a Tutorial”

  1. Great tips and all new to me. Really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Rosie says:

    Shelley will be all spiffed up! I cannot wait to see the final reveal!

  3. Anne Frances says:

    Thank you for showing this. What a splendid lining!
    I did just wonder why you worked the catch stitch over the top of the hem, rather than folding back the very top of the hem and working the catch stitch between the layers of the hem and the garment body. I tend to find that means there is less risk of the line of the top of the hem showing through to the outside of the garment, not least because if necessary when it is done you can put just the very the tip of the iron under the top line of the hem and gently press out any possible mark from the underside. Do you have any thoughts on this?
    I am so looking forward to seeing the full final completed version of this stunning coat.

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I’m not sure exactly what you men by putting the tip under the top line of the hem, especially since the outer shell’s hem is completely hidden by the lining hem, so it isn’t possible to slip the iron under there anyway. And because the outer shell hem is completely covered, I didn’t see any advantage to doing the fold-back. If I were allowing the lining to hang free, as I do in skirts, I would finish the hem differently, as it might be seen. But as I say, it’s not the case here.

  4. Toby Wolllin says:

    Ann – so many thanks for doing this. I just have one more question. What would you do if you were working with really heavy coating – like melton or something like that?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I would shrink the bejeebers out of it, then I would probably clip it at intervals to release the excessive fullness.

  5. Tina says:

    Anne, how do I sign up to follow your blog via email?

    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      I would use Bloglovin or The Old Reader. Just add my blog to your list of subscriptions and you’ll get notifications whenever I add a post, Tina. Using one of those feeders also allows you to subscribe to multiple blogs in one fell swoop.

  6. Sid says:

    Thank you for the information, and the great photos. A terrific tip about cutting out the triangles of fabric at the hem line. I can’t wait to give this a try!

  7. Kathy says:

    Hi Ann,

    I was wondering why you didn’t finish the seams on inside? The fabric doesn’t ravel and it’s lined so there is no need?

    Thanks you for all of your tips.


    1. Gorgeous Fabrics says:

      3 reasons:
      1 – the fabric doesn’t ravel
      2 – inch-wide seam allowances
      3 – the coat is completely lined so all the seams are enclosed

  8. Manuela says:

    Love, love, love the lining you chose. Can’t wait to see the finished coat.

  9. oonaballoona says:

    i’ve been on a catch stitching bender lately, want to catch stitch allll the things…

    never considered trimming a triangle out at the fold line! my seam ripper is screaming for me to drag all of my wool hems out now.

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