Historically, hemstitching was an involved process of pulling out threads parallel to the hemline and then hand sewing the hem in a manner that grouped the remaining vertical threads to create perforations in the fabric.
Nowadays, hemstitching is easy to do by machine using a wing needle, which has two finlike projections along its shaft, and an appropriate multistep stitch. Wing needles are typically associated with heirloom sewing, the kind used for christening gowns and Victorian linens. But this wing needle hemstitch technique adds a fresh accent to contemporary clothing and accessories. Barbara Callahan demonstrates this easy, yet lovely way to secure a facing or hem by machine.
From Threads #115
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