Mastering the Narrow Hemmer, Part Three
Basic hemming techniques
Hemming corners is three-step process: Trim 1/4 in. off the corner, stitch to the end, then start over in a new direction.
To start at a corner, use tear-away stabilizer or tissue paper under the hem, and stitch about 1/4 in. before feeding the fabric into the foot.
To end at a corner, press the fabric toward the foot to keep the full allowance in the curl.
To cross a seam, trim to reduce the bulk of seam allowances; use a glue stick to keep the seam allowances flat during hemming.
To blend into the starting point, stop with the needle down, raise the foot, and form the hem by hand to blend into the starting hem. Stitch with the hem under, not in, the foot.
To include a facing in the hem, trim to reduce the facing’s bulk (left), and use a stabilizer at the corner (right).
Special hemming effects
If your decorative stitch aligns with the hem’s edges within the hemmer foot’s width, you can stitch the hem in one step.
If your decorative stitch doesn’t align with the hem folds, baste the hem first using the hemmer, then stitch decoratively using the satin-stitch foot; finally, remove basting, if necessary.
Shell edging, made using a blind-hem stitch, looks more like a hand-formed shell edge than if you use a plain zigzag stitch.Narrow hemming combined with a Parisian hemstitch produces a finished decorative edge similar to those on hand-hemstitched handkerchiefs.
Mastering the Narrow Hemmer, Part One
Mastering the Narrow Hemmer, Part Two
Sewing a narrow hem
Carol Laflin Ahles writes and sews in Houston, Texas. She is the author of Fine Machine Sewing.
Photos: David Page Coffin; drawings: Karen Meyer
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