The true mark of a beautifully sewn garment is often in the details. Aside from neat stitching and proper construction, small ornamental touches can add quality and sophistication to a project. Old-fashioned dressmaking tricks like hemstitching are popular choices for the home crafter. This decorative type of stitch is usually placed near the hem of a garment, but is sometimes applied to sleeves and necklines. The hemstitch is traditionally done by hand, but the look can be imitated using a home sewing machine.
Things You'll Need
- Sewing machine
- Thick blotting paper
- Iron and ironing board
- Fabric pencil
Turn up the desired hem on the bottom of your fabric and iron it flat. You may have an easier time hemstitching on a larger hem of 1 inch at first, but you can also use this procedure for a 1/2-inch or 1/4-inch hem.
Mark the sewing line, which is the stitch placement you would normally use for a hem, on the wrong side of the fabric with a fabric pencil.
Cut the fabric 1/8 inch above the sewing line.
Line up the cut edges of the fabric, right sides together, as though you are going to sew a normal seam. Slide a piece of blotting paper between the layers.
Loosen the thread tension on your sewing machine. Adjust the stitch length to the width you would like your hemstitching to have.
Sew 1/4 inch away from the edges, through all layers. Clip the thread ends and pull the blotting paper out of the stitches.
Open the fabric to the wrong side. Adjust the thread tension and stitch length on your machine back to normal.
Fold the raw edge of the fabric back and sew it down. Fold back the hem edge and sew it down, close to the fold. Iron the hem flat.
Tips & Warnings
- If your machine has different decorative stitch options, such as a blanket or ladder stitch, you can use them to get different hemstitch looks.
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