A Beautiful Hem for a Four-Ply Silk Crepe
My friend Lynda Maynard has been kind enough to allow me to share her technique, which she taught me last summer. Her book, The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques, can be purchased on Amazon.
Last summer, I had a customer who needed a gown for her daughter’s wedding. This gown, which was strapless, had a bodice and flowing skirt of 4-ply silk crepe. Since 4-ply silk crepe is a fabric I don’t work with often, and since I was dreading the hemming, I called Lynda. She’s the queen of silky, flowing fabrics, and I knew she’d have a finish that was beautiful as well as efficient.
This is the technique. You’ll really be making a version of a bias facing with this finish.
Begin with the marked hem–I used the skirt hem marker that blows powder–a really useful device if you’ve not used one!
Get yourself some nylon or silk tulle (also called Illusion veiling in some places). Ideally, it should match the fabric. I’ve chosen different colored tulle for demonstration purposes.
Cut a 3″ wide strip across the grain.
Press this strip in half, matching the raw edges.
Pin the strip, to the front side of the fabric, so the folded strip straddles the hem markings. Keep all raw edges to the same side, and the folded edge opposite.
Machine sew along the markings, centered on the strip.
Trim the raw edges away to 1/4″-3/8″. Use the pinking blade in the rotary cutter–it gives a nicer finish.
Press the strip towards the seam allowances.
Pressing the strip towards the seam allowances makes it easier to get the hem to favor to the inside in the next step.