Thursday, 1 July 2010

Jargon Explained 002 - Blind hemming

Blind hemming, we've all heard it mentioned, and if you're anything like me you only vaguely paid any attention until the day you realise you need to blind hem something. Which amused me as I only sort of knew what it was (mostly becuase my Sewing machine Aurora came with a blind hemming foot) but somehow knew I needed the stitch.

What? - A blind hem is a type of stitch that is done so that it prevents the fabric from unraveling, but isn’t visible from the “right” side of the fabric. 

Why? - Blind hems are often used when you don’t want to be able to see a row of stitching on the finished product. For example, window hangings, skirts, and dressed are often hemmed along the bottom with a blind hem.

How? - Although I have used a blind hemming foot in this tutorial it is possible to do it without, it will just take longer and you will need to pay very close attention to where your needle is on the fabric. You also need a blind hem stitch on your machine, this looks like a few straight stitches followed by two zigzag stitches (one off to the side, one back to the line) using the powers of keyboards this is a rough representation _ _ _ /\ _ _ _ /\_ _ _ etc

Step 1: - Fold and pin a standard double fold hem (fold once wrong sides together, then fold again to catch all loose ends)

Step 2: This is the confusing part, fold the hem under the main part of the garment, but leave 1/4 of the hem sticking out (pictures may explain this better)
Explanation 2, turn the piece over to the right side is facing up, and fold the top side down exposing 1/3 of the proposed hem allowance. If this still makes no sense then just have a play with it, it's simple to do, tough to explain!

Step 3: Place the garment on your sewing machine. You want to line up the fold against the runner on the hemming foot, so that when the needle hits the apex of the zigzag stitch it only just catches a few strands of the right side. (keep reading and check the pictures, this makes a lot more sense at the end) and stitch. Be very careful to make sure the fabric stays inline and doesn't go too far onto the good side.
Step 4: You should now have a hem that looks like this:
Unfold the good side and flip it over so the good side is face down. The inside of your garment should look like this:
Then when you flip it over the right side should look like this:
I've used white thread here so the stitches show up, if you use a matching thread you will only ever see the stitch if you are up very close! A quick note, always press the seams after doing this as you will end up with a nice line other wise! (As you can see in the above picture I haven't as this is only a test piece!)

Viola! One lovely blind hem! It's always worth practicing on a scrap piece first just to get the hang of it, but honestly it's a very simple and effective technique once you get the hang of it!!

If you have any suggestions for further JEs them please either leave a comment, or email me

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