Hemming a Skirt with Horsehair Braid

Created By:

Duy Truong

Skill Level: Intermediate

Hello everyone! My name is Duy (@cafededuy on Instagram) and I’m here to help anyone sew with horsehair braid. A lot of us are experienced sewists and all self taught, but that doesn’t mean we’ve sewn with every material, such as horsehair braid. And I, admittedly, never worked with it, despite knowing exactly how to use it.

So for all of you first time users, here’s some basic directions.

I use a Janome Skyline S9 and it helps so much with the horsehair. The S9 had the ability to cut threads with a push of a button and speed control. The speed control helps me a lot since the materials I will be using is slippery.

Janome Supplies Required


- Horsehair Braid

- Your made from scratch skirt (I’ll be using organza)

- A lot of pins or clips


First, make your skirt. My skirt will be at least full circle with trains and multi-tier. 

For my S9, I’m using the standard (and default) straight stitch. You don’t need to make any changes if you use this option on any Janome machine.

Sew your braid on the right side (the side that will be showing). If you’re using a braid where there’s a line of thread, use the opposite side. The threaded side will come in use later. 


Things to know: try not to stretch out your braid. Keep it at its default tension as much as possible. And the end that has been cut with scissors will fray. This is normal but try to keep it under control. We will take care of this.




To take care of the fraying ends, you’ll need a strip of fabric that’s double the length of the braid’s width. Give it a basic hem. You don’t need to be perfect with it, especially if you’re sewing with something slippery like organza. 

Sew the strip on one side of the horsehair (just the braid and not on the skirt), fold it over to the other side, and stitch it down. It helps a lot of you use the zig-zag stitch (size to your desire) to stitch it down. 




Flip the fabric and braid “inside out,” and do a top stitch hem. As you do this, be sure to make sure there are no air bubbles between the braid and fabric. It helps a lot if you use clips or pins to hold it down; I do both. This is even handier when you leave this overnight so the fabric can “get accustomed” to the fold - I only know this because I work on about 10 projects at once.




NOW THAT THE EASY PART IS OVER, now here’s the tough bit. I didn’t grab any pictures because I had to be on top of it. Now you’re going to stitch down the edge of the braid that is not the skirt edge. Remember the thread line that’s on the opposite edge of the braid? As you sew that side down, pull on the thread to squeeze the braid gaps together to allow your curves. 


If it feels like you are taking forever, that’s okay. I’m so used to doing all kinds of hemming, that even I felt like this took forever.

And you do get better with each try. As my multi-tier skirt grew, I could tell that I improved with each stitch and time.



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