Hip Rolls

Materials needed:

  • 1/2″ upholstery foam
  • Dritex or other opaque white spandex
  • Quilting pins
  • Matching thread
  • Optional (but SUPER helpful): Serger

Note: There are several ways to make hip rolls based on your skill level and preference. Some of the most common methods include folded over quilt batting, polyfill, upholstery cording, and upholstery foam. The majority of our fukus incorporate upholstery foam, so that is the method we’ll be discussing in this tutorial.


Select a piece of ½” wide white foam. Measure your high hip measurement to determine the length of your hip roll. Add 4″ to this measurement. Cut a single piece of foam that is 4” wide by the hip length + 4″. Cut a single piece of spandex the same width and length.

Note: Our original method of making hip rolls was more free-form in the curve of the hip roll at the point of the V. This method requires a bit more math and patience, but it yields a much cleaner result. 

The next step is to draft where the front point of the hip roll is going to connect. To do this, we’re essentially going to use the same method as we would to construct a V-neck shirt binding.

Take your spandex, and at one end, measure up 2″ from the center width. Using a ruler, mark two legs going to the edges of the fabric. When you’re finished, you should have a 90 degree angle. Cut this angle out, and repeat on the other side of the fabric as well as both sides of your foam.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise so that the 90 degree angles are connected, right sides together. Stitch together, using a 3/8″ seam allowance. Repeat on the foam.

Tip: If your foam is giving you trouble, use a stabilizer on the top and bottom of the foam to help guide it through. If you don’t have tear-away stabilizer, you can also use freezer paper!

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Now it’s time to combine your foam and spandex to create the hip roll!

Fold your foam in half length-wise and wrap your spandex around the foam. Get every sewing pin you own and pin like your life depends on it. To help keep the spandex smooth all the way around, I like to divide and conquer. First, I’ll pin my fabric in quarters around the hip roll: a pin or two at the center front, another one in the center back, and at the sides. From there, I add more pins to each quarter, again working in 1/3 to 1/4 segments. 

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Mark the hip roll in quarters first to make sure the fabric is even all around.

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Break each quarter into segments.

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Fill in the segments.

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Use every pin at your disposal!

Tip: Pin your fabric from one side rather than alternating top and bottom. This will help control puckers and bunching in the next step!

Once your foam/spandex sandwich is thoroughly pinned, flip it over, and machine baste it, taking care to avoid puckers. The top side of your foam/spandex combo should be nice and smooth, so flipping your piece over gives you access to the fabric most likely to bunch.


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What your hip roll should look like after basting and removing all the pins. Take care not to bleed on your white fabric!

Once your foam is basted, mark the taper of  your hip roll using a water soluble pen or tailor’s chalk. We start our taper 3” from the point of the hip roll.

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Tip: My serger doesn’t like starting the process of cutting through the fabric, so I like to give it a little snip with my sheers before taking it to the serger.

If you have access to a serger, use your marked line and basting stitch as a guide and serger the edge of your hip roll. If you do not have access to a serger, line up the aforementioned line with the edge of your sewing foot and stitch. Go over the seam allowance with a zig zag stitch and trim the excess foam and spandex. This will create a flat base when you combine your fuku pieces. 

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Woohoo! Give yourself a pat on the back. That wasn’t easy! Next, it’s time to Assemble the Base!

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Tutorial text/photos by The Geeky Seamstress.