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Rolling and Felling Feet

Threads #188, Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017
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In this article from Threads #188 (Dec. 2016/Jan. 2017), you’ll learn how to harness the powers of the rolled-hem and flat-felling presser feet and discover their useful additional talents.


Rolled-hem and flat-felling presser feet have been around almost as long as the sewing machine, and they’re well worth coming to grips with if you ever need a very fine seam or hem on light- to middle-weight, single-layer fabrics—perfect for shirts and blouses. There’s no doubt, though, that they can be fiddly to manage. Many a sewer, on first acquaintance with feet like these, concludes that he or she can do with-out the added expense or hassle of buying and mastering them.

The finer the seam or hem you’re after, however, the more reason there is to take advantage of their special powers.  These powers include the ability to precisely fold or wrap over a very narrow raw edge, and second, to stitch this down at an equally precise distance from the folded or wrapped edge. The narrower the fold or wrap in question, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to handle it as meticulously on your own. I’ll explain how to harness the powers of the rolled-hem and flat-felling presser feet and reveal their useful additional talents. Let’s begin.

How do they work?

These two feet perform a similar operation: They fold over a narrow edge and position it so the needle stitches it down at a precise distance from the fold. This is the key to making even, narrow felled seams and hems.

Flat-felled seams

Creating a flat-felled seam is a two-step process. In the first pass, one edge is folded over the other and stitched in place (A). In the second, this enclosed edge is folded once more and…

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