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Narrow hemming without a special foot?

SeoulSearch | Posted in General Sewing Info on


Is it possible to sew a very narrow hem on a dress (say, 3mm) without the use of a special foot? If so, HOW? I’ve usually made my hems a bit wider so it was never an issue, but I’ve come to like the look of a very narrow hem and this type of foot for my machine has been discontinued. (As much as I would love a new machine, I can’t go out and drop the big $ just for a few mm of hemming! 🙂

Suggestions and technique hints would be much appreciated.

Kimberlea @—‘-


  1. BYDEZINE | | #1

    sometimes the generic feet fit different machines with the use of an adaptor. But failing that, yes you can do a teensy hem that way.

    What I do is serge the end with a narrow stitch ( zigzag would do also.) but not the rolled hem. then the stitiching line becomes my turnover guide. I turn over twice and clip it with banana hair clips and then sew once on the regular sewing machine very slowly to make the stitching perfect.  my straight foot works well for this because the foot has a 1/4 inch width on the right side, but use whatever foot lets you do the perfect topstitch required.

    OOps... I forgot.... you'll want to trim seam allowances at the hem before you serge/zz so you don't end up with a big chunk of fabric at the seams. Hope this helps.

  2. NansiM | | #2

    If you don't own a serger,  here's another option:  lightly press in hem  3/8" lower than where you want it to end up.  Stitch close to fold.  NOW trim any excess fabric CLOSE to stitching.  Fold over again to enclose the raw edge you just trimmed-it should be pretty narrow--1/8 to a scant 1/4--and stitch close to fold again.  This is a classic dressmaker's narrow hem and works reallly well on almost any fabric!  The reason you press 3/8" lower than your actual desired hemline is to allow for the second foldover.  Try it; you'll like it!

  3. deepikap1 | | #3


    My sewing machine also did not come with a narrow hemming foot but I went to a local sewing machine dealer and got a generic foot on the condition that if it did not work, I will return it. She agreed and thankfully it worked. After a few days I realised that I had to return my sewing machine (I had just bought it a few days ago). But guess what? The narrow hem foot worked in my new machine also even though it was a different brand. So what I am trying to say is that take a look at some other feet, it may just work for you.

    For using the hem foot, I found this book very useful: Fine Machine Sewing by Carol Laflin...

    hope this helps.


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