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How to Sew a Narrow Hem on Lightweight Fabrics

Threads seamstress Norma Bucko shows how to machine-sew a baby hem in this step-by-step guide.
Threads #194, Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018
The pleated sleeves of this polyester chiffon dress were finished with a baby hem.

In this online extra, Threads seamstress Norma Bucko provides step-by-step instructions for sewing a narrow, or baby, hem that’s suitable for lightweight fabrics, such as organza and chiffon.

Read “Pattern Hack: Dramatic pleats,” p.72, Threads #194 (Dec. 2017/Jan. 2018) by Editor Sarah McFarland to learn how to make simple pattern adjustments to cut flowing accordion-pleated sleeves. The baby hem is a good edge finish for prepleated fabrics, as it doesn’t disrupt the pleat folds.

Baby Hem Instructions:

1. Mark the hemline to the desired length. Then stitch 1⁄8 inch below the desired length. Use a short—1.5-mm—stitch length.


2. Fold the raw edge of the garment to the wrong side along the stitching line. Stitch through both layers and as close to the fold as possible.


3. Trim the excess fabric as close to the stitching as possible. Be careful not to cut the stitching or the fold; using a pair of sharp appliqué scissors may help. As you cut, support the stitched fold by laying it flat on your hand. Do not do this step until you have time to do the next step. You are cutting so close that, if left too long, the fabric may slip out of the stitching. For the same reason, handle the garment as little as possible after cutting.


4. Fold the stitched line up again, enclosing the raw edge. Stitch on top of the previous stitching. Press. The baby hem is complete. It’s narrow and neat, weighted nicely with three stitching rows.



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  1. CJackson81 | | #1

    Great tutorial. I have always had problems with sewing these parts!

  2. User avater
    JasmeenSandle | | #2

    I find it amazing...thanks for sharing!!!

  3. User avater
    Roshani Tripathi | | #3

    nice post

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