Sewing Fishing Wire Hems : My First Time

Sewing Fishing Wire Hems : My First Time

Sewing Fishing Wire Hems | SewsNBows

Last week I worked on a little pageant dress in some charmeuse I had in the stash. I showed a few progress pictures on my Instagram and G+ Page, and some of you were wondering how that went.

Sewing Fishing Wire Hems

I definitely can’t call myself an expert on sewing fishing wire hems; or even sewing with formal type fabrics. But I did want to share my first try with this technique.  I’m hoping to make million dollar, title winning pageant dresses in no time. If that doesn’t work out, they will make dandy Halloween costumes and dress up clothes! This post isn’t a how-to. Just my experience so far.

Corset & Cupcake Skirt | Sewing Fishing Wire Hems

So this is the corset and cupcake skirt. I have used boning in all the corset seams to help it keep it’s shape. I haven’t added grommets yet; and really…I’m scared to. I used a light interfacing, which I suspect isn’t strong enough to hold metal grommets. Since this dress was “practice”, I’ll be keeping it around to try different hem techniques and design experiments.

Corset & Cupcake Skirt | SewsNBows

Below, a close up of the skirt. (Sorry for the hasty phone pics!) Fishing wire is fed into the rolled hem, creating the curly effect. I will write more about that process when get it right. I learned from this skirt that 40 lb fishing wire is great for catching fish, but for seriously curvy hems you need 100 lb weight wire. There isn’t much online about sewing fishing wire hems; but I have read that you can boil or microwave the wire to get an extreme coil. I tried both with 40 lb, and it didn’t really work in either case. I think heavier wire and letting it “set” longer will get me the desired effect.

Rolled hem issues | Sewing With Fishing Wire

I had lots of hemming issues. The rolled hems on the white fabric are all crazy. I’m going to dig for my rolled hem foot and play with it. I’ve never tried it before! The hems on the blue charmeuse are wack-tastic too. I’m considering rolled hems or bias tape next time I hem a curve. I was taught that rolled hems were wrong except for sheers and delicates, but I’ve seen very nice, professional looking rolled hems on pageant dresses. I found a great tutorial at Sew Can She: How To Use A Rolled Hem Foot.

A dress I'm working on | SewsNBows

Now I’m working on another formal dress. I’m going to try my hand at stoning a gown with crystals. I can’t wait to learn everything and bring you some tips!

About The Author

Amy Mayen

Hello. I'm Amy and I'm addicted to sewing. I borderline-hoard fabric, buttons, & patterns. Sometimes I wish I could pile my fabric up on the floor and just roll in it!


  1. Annie

    Oh, wow, what a challenge you have taken! I think the hems look great. Fishing wire hems and hand-sewn crystals…those are going to be amazing dresses! But wire in microwave…is it safe??
    Annie recently posted…Fluttering Fields Twirly Dress for Little MomoMy Profile

  2. Olga Becker

    I think it turned out great, especially for the first time doing it! Good luck! I am sure the future pageant dresses will be stunning. :)

  3. Gina

    you are so awesome Amy!! i love the way you decide to tackle something technically difficult, then you research it, and then you do a practice run only expecting to learn something and not necessarily end up with the garment you ultimately want but you evaluate what you need to do to get to where you want to go. I can not imagine tackling this type of sewing myself but i have no doubt you will be making primo pageant dresses soon!!!!
    Gina recently posted…Finish It Up Friday: The Strawberry EditionMy Profile

  4. Mel

    Wow Amy you rock! They look beautiful. I can’t even imagine the pain of threading a rolled hem. She’s going to look adorable.
    Mel recently posted…Wardrobe Doors MakeoverMy Profile

  5. Pam @Threading My Way

    I think both the outfit and the rolled hems look great, Amy. Fabulous job, especially for your first go. I’ve never even heard of fishing wire in hems. Not sure about only doing rolled hems on sheers and delicates. I’ve done them on quilting cottons for ruffles on baby pants.
    Pam @Threading My Way recently posted…PDF Pattern Sale…My Profile


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