Beth Smith

More Hems

A few weeks ago I talked about rolled hems, rolled hem feet for your sewing machine and their benefits. Today I want to talk about hand sewn hems and machine blind hems.

I’m going to begin with a hand sewn hem. For the examples I’m using I attached bias tape to the bottom of the skirt before hemming. I did that because I like the finish it gives and the body it adds to the hem of the garment but it isn’t necessary.

A hand sewn hem definitely takes more time but I like it for a couple of reasons. First, it’s relaxing to sit in the evening with a bit of hand sewing in your lap. Second, I like the look of the finished product as the stitches, if done carefully, can be almost invisible.

I usually only use a machine sewn blind hem in garments that I want to quickly finish. Many modern machines come with a blind hem stitch and a special foot to use.

You fold the fabric as if to hem and then fold the hem edge back so that the top of the hem edge slightly extends beyond the new fold that won’t be staying. It’s kind of hard for me to explain. And I’m doing a bad job of it.

You place the fabric wrong side up and stitch along the extended bit of fabric. Every few stitches the needle shoots over and stitches one stitch in the main body of the garment.

After you finish the hem you fold the hemmed part down and press.

This is what the two blind hems look like on the inside of the garment with the machine done hem on the left side.

And this is the right side of the garments. Again, the machine done hem is on the left side. As you can see, both hems look great but the machine done hem shows just a tiny bit more thread poking through. From a distance both are almost imperceptible.

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