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Rolled hem

kayrosie | Posted in General Discussion on

Okay I finally got my rolled hem foot and I found some time to sit down with and play with it.  I like it but there must be a trick to getting it started.  When I finally get going it works great.  You just have to take your time and make sure you are feeding it through there right.  But I don’t like the way it starts. Got to practice.  I am going to try and do it everyn ight for awhile and maybe I will get it down. Any advise will be greatly apprecaited.



  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Hold on to the threads as you start but don't pull on them.  You may want to start serging on a scrap of fabric then flow onto your regular fabric.  Wooly nylon thread in the loopers wraps around the edges better and fills in well, although it is fun to experiment with everything from machine embroidery thread to YLI Glamour and Perle Crown Rayon.  Sometimes I use a strip of Solvy, a water soluble stabilizer, under the edge.  Have lots of fun playing!  Now I have the urge to serge!  Mary

    It just occurred to me that you might mean a sewing machine rather than serger rolled hem, sorry.  On the regular machine I don't start it on the end of the fabric because it won't feed well, especially with lightweight fabric.  Someone on this forum went into detailed instructions on this type so you could search it out.  Mary

    Edited 11/1/2006 12:41 pm ET by MaryinColorado

    1. kayrosie | | #2

      It is not on the serger but on my regular machine.  I have a serger but I have not tried it yet. To much work to change the whole thing on the serger.  Thanks for yor advise though.


      1. User avater
        user-221153 | | #3


        I agree that it's much easier to start in the middle of the edge rather than a corner. I also press the edge to be rolled at the point where I'm starting so that it will wrap around the rolled hem foot easier. It seems to help me get started that way. But at any rate it still takes lots of practice, especially if there are any curved edges. And I also recommend you take it slow or you can "lose your groove" and the fabric won't stay rolled around the foot properly.

        Good Luck!



    2. SewNancy | | #5

      Do you have any tricks for serging rolled hems on light weight rayon lycra knit? I have had a terrible time sewing these knits that I ended up with wadders twice now. MY rolled hem works perfectly on samples and then when I get to the garment it just falls off the end. Endlessly frustrating.

      1. mygaley | | #6

        This a tip for rolled hemmers: stiffen your fabric with spray starch, then crease it with your finger as it enters the hemmer. Galey

        1. kayrosie | | #7

          Okay I am working on rolled hem of a satin bridesmaid dresses.  Are you telling me to starch them a little and it will work better. 

          Also when you dong the rolled hem, does the fabric wrap around the foot and go into the groove.  I am really confused when you say it wraps around.  My mind must just be to dense today.  Help.


          1. SewNancy | | #8

            Go to http://www.thesewingdivas.com they have a great pictoral tutorial on doing using the rolled hem foot. Also, David Page Coffin's shirt book has great info on this too. It is also on his video companion to the book.

          2. kayrosie | | #9

            thanks so much.   I have been struggling with this.  I have most of Sew Nancy Books, and a bigger book but nothing in those.

          3. kayrosie | | #10

            That site did not work. Said site under construction. So will see if Library has the book. Thanks.

          4. ChrisHaynes | | #22

            This is the Sewing Divas tutorial on the hemmer foot: 


      2. MaryinColorado | | #11

        Try this:  increase the stitch length.  Is your fabric ravelling or sliding around too much?  If so, you may want to try stitching a straight stitch on the regular sewing machine first, then follow that stitchline on the serger.  You could try using water soluble stabilizer wrapped around the edge of the fabric.  You may try a smaller needle.  Or try fussing with the cutting width if it is adjustable.  Hope this helps.  Mary

        1. SewNancy | | #12

          Thank you. I will try all of the above. I was also thinking about ordering the liquid stabilizer from Palmer Pletsch. Have you used it or anything like it?

          1. MaryinColorado | | #16

            I feel that they get stiff, but maybe someone else has used a good one.  If so, I'd love to hear about it.

          2. SewNancy | | #17

            It doesn't wash out?

  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    I am usually using that foot on a completed garment so the hem is 'in the round' . I start in the back (so it isn't as noticeable) roll up a little of the cloth by hand and work it back and forth on the foot before I lower the foot.  So the throat of the foot has the fold already established. Then turn the wheel by hand a few stitches holding on to the threads.  This whole process is so much easier to 'show' than to 'tell'.

    Hope this helps,


  3. jatman | | #13

    On the Threads website there is a clip of David Coffin's video that goes with the Shirtmaking Technique book.  The clip they have on the website is actually the rolled hem part.   Just go to search from the home page, put Coffin in there and one of the items it pulls up is the video.  On the left hand side there is a link to preview video.

    Good luck!


    Edited 11/3/2006 9:54 am ET by jatman

    1. kayrosie | | #14

      I will try that.  Thanks for the info. 

      1. ixs | | #15

        Maybe you need to use a thinner thread.

  4. Herring | | #18

    These can be pesky, tricky things.  A couple of tricks I've found through trial and (much) error.

    If working in the round start by feeding the hem through the raised foot without stitching until the foldover is complete.  Keep the fabric taught but not tight while you do this. Lower the foot without letting go of the fabric - 3 hands are useful but not essential!

    Pull out a long thread from spool or bobbin and begin stitching, starting with the needle in the fabric and holding on tightly to the thread ends.  Stitch round almost to the beginning and then stop before the foot reaches the start of your stitching.

    Remove the fabric and complete the hem by back stitching from the right side by hand, carefully matching the stitch size on the right side of the fabric to the machine stitch.

    This also works for a straight hem starting at the end of a piece of fabric.  Again feed the fabric through until the rollover is complete and then stitch off the other end.  Go back to the beginning and hand stitch using the long end of thread.

    I've also found that, as you stitch, if you manipulate the fabric so that the 1/2 inch or so in front of the needle is sitting just a miniscule amount to the right of the needle, that helps the rollover stay on track - takes experimentation to get just the right amount for different fabrics and sizes of hem.

    Good luck

    1. kayrosie | | #19

      I can see that this is going to take lots of practice and patience.   I need to do two a night for a while until I get it prefected.  Then of course, when you do it on the dress something will mess up. It usually does.  I was doing buttonholes the other day, fine and dandy on a scrap, but just let me put the good blouse in and yam it backfires on me and messes up.  The devil is with you I guess.  Thanks for the hints I will try. 

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #20

        As you practice your rolled hem, remember that the real hem will not all be along the straight of the grain. Hems usually curve!  and that curve can cause fits for the rolled hem foot, so practice on a curved piece of cloth similar to the cloth of the real dress in weight and 'slipperiness'.


        1. kayrosie | | #21

          Yes I realize that. I have been saving the pieces of some satin that I have been working on and making them curved like the hems.  So I will try that.  That is if I ever have a free night.   I am going to have to start saying no. 

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