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How to Hand-Roll a Hem

Options for stitching a beautiful edge

Threads #197, June/July 2018
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Floral-print silk chiffon epitomizes the wonderful sensations of a summer’s day. Though this dress is from 1935, it is perfect for this year’s garden party. Light, airy, and translucent, the fabric is held together by the finest silk threads. Part of the lightness comes from the hand-rolled hems that edge the dress’s soft flounces. A hand-worked rolled hem takes longer to stitch than a machine-sewn hem, but it is the best choice when you want a finish that does not weigh down a gossamer textile. See more about rolled hems from Threads #197 below.

Weightless edges are part of the magic that makes the silk chiffon dress shown at left and on the back cover appear to float. A hand-rolled hem is the key. There are many machine-sewn shortcuts to making faux rolled edges, but the hand-worked version is softer and more flexible.

Here are three ways to prepare…

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