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using fishing line in a hem

melanie56 | Posted in General Discussion on

Can anyone tell me the best way to finish a net hemline with fishing line. Is there a special serger foot available to guide the line?


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    You don't need a special foot but if you really want one, I think the beading/pearl foot would work.  Instructions for it are in the book Serger Secrets, my fav of all time. 

  2. user-51823 | | #2

    i just zigzag on my plain sewing machine. to keep it from scalloping, use shortest stitch length or make 2 or 3 passes. i prefer the latter, as it seems to go easier on the tulle.

  3. Teaf5 | | #3

    Am I missing something? Why are you putting fishing line in a hem?

    1. User avater
      melanie56 | | #4

      I am using fishing line to enclose in the edge of the tulle on a wedding dress to make a firm fluted finish. A lot of ready made wedding dresses have it in and I have 2 to take up. One of them cannot be lifted at the waist because of the beadwork.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #5

        Serger Secrets or Secrets to Successful Sewing has instructions for this.  Mary

        1. Teaf5 | | #7

          Thanks for the information; I'll look it up!

          1. MaryinColorado | | #8

            You are welcome!  I have learned so much from you, I am glad to pass along something useful that you may make use of. 

            If not for Serger Secrets, I probably wouldn't have used my serger much!  It is so fun to experience the versatility of these great machines!

      2. Betakin | | #13

        You can also use florist wire or bead wire instead of fish line. Fishline ruffles and edges were first adapted for sergers by a Tacony profssional.

        The lighter weight fishline is better for tulle and netting, and medium wt. of 25 lb. line is better for satin and taffeta. A heavier fishline is also better if serging over two layers of fabrics if you want extra body.

        Place the fishline under the back and over the front of the presser foot and serge very slowly. Leave a serged tail in back and in front over the wire to be bent back to secure by serging over the fishline for several inches then raise the pressure foot and then put the fabric underneath. Don't stretch fabric while serging but stretch afterwards.


        1. feismom | | #14

          I have a really basic question about fishing line in hems - how do you connect it when you complete the circle?  In other words, you have a loose end where you start and another at the other end and fishing line has a way of working itself into places that you didn't plan.  I've also found that anchoring it at the beginning is a bit of a challenge - it's hard to keep it from pulling through and I found it hard to keep it from flipping outside the stitching to the left.  (So I gave up!) 

          1. Betakin | | #16

            After you finish stitching the fabric continue to stitch several inches onto just the fishline leaving a tail at the end of the  fabric and stretch out the fabric spreading the fabric over the tail as much as possible to bury the fishline. This extra tail of fishline is bent back at the beginning and the ending of the stitching or the wires can be twisted or locked when they meet if you do not want to bend them back.

          2. mygaley | | #17

            I usually glue my fishline with super glue, but I like your method a lot better. Thanks, Galey

          3. feismom | | #18

            Thanks but maybe I'm confused - the fishing line I've seen is nylon and doesn't bend or twist well.  Superglue sounds interesting although I seem to get more on my fingers than the average project.

          4. mygaley | | #19

            The fishing line you want is monofilament: just one piece, not a woven operation. What makes it work is its rigidity. The pressure of the line pulling on the fabric is what makes the wavy or whatever shapes. Galey.

  4. MaryinColorado | | #6

    According to Serger Secrets pp113, Rodale Press.  Use 10-15# fishing line for lt wt fabricslike tulle.  If you cut the ruffle on the bias it will provide the most stretch and the prettiest look.   As long as the fishing line is heavier than the fabric, it will curl again after stitching and hide the stitches.

    3 thread rolled hem, SL1mm, rt needle, serger thread.  Place the fishing line over the top of the front of the foot, but then under the back of the foot starting at about the needle area.  Keep the line between the knife and the needle.  Stitch over just the fishing line, then insert the fabric right side up.  Stitch with the fishing line on top, stretching the fabric as you serge.

    Continue serging off the fabric and on just the fishing line leaving a 4-5 inch tail.  Spread the fabric over the fishing line, stretching the fabric as much as possible.  Bury the reamaining fishing line tail. 

    If fabric seperates from stitches it suggests: smaller needle, longer SL, or wider SW. 

    Hope this helps.  There are photos in the book, it is the most excellent book in my collection!  Mary

    Oh!  Heavier line for heavier fabrics, like 25 wt fishing line for taffeta, etc...

    Edited 4/25/2007 10:37 am ET by MaryinColorado

    1. User avater
      melanie56 | | #9

      Thanks for that. It's a book I had better rush off onto Amazon and buy. Strange that I don't have it as I have almost every sewing book I can get. I have tried that method I am just concerned that I might cut through the fishing line or serge witout enclosing it.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #10

        I know what you mean about risking cuttting through the fabric.  I just did that by accident on a slippery kimono sleeve and now have to decide how to fix it.  The library might have the book.  http://www.lindaleeoriginals.com has it too.  She is one of the 5 authors.

  5. Char9 | | #11

    Fishing line?  Why not just use horsehair?  Horsehair gives very nice body without being stiff and you don't have to serge over it first. 


    1. User avater
      melanie56 | | #12

      Won't the horsehair be visible on net though?

      1. Char9 | | #15


        Sorry, didn't realize the netting would be on the outside.  Horsehair is a fairly loose flat braid and is availabe in various widths.  The smallest I've seen it is 5/8" and as large as 8".  I've seen it in black, white and pink.  Don't know if it comes in other colors.  Depending on what look you're going for the 5/8" would give a nice finished appearance.  After its attached you could run a nice decorative stitch through the middle of it all around the hem. 


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