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How to Sew a Hem 

Knowing how to sew a hem can make life so much easier. No more frantic hunting for a safety pin or - dare I say it - the stapler! How to sew a hem

The point of a sewing a hem is to hide the raw edge of the fabric - both to make theHow to sew a hem garment look more neat and to protect the edge of the fabric from fraying.

So the first step in sewing a hem is to turn down 1/4" (6mm) of the fabric, then turn down another 1/4" so that the raw edge is completely Knowing how to sew a hem can make life so much easier. No more frantic hunting for a safety pin or - dare I say it - the stapler!

The point of a sewing a hem is to hide the raw edge of the fabric - both to make the garment look more neat and to protect the edge of the fabric from fraying.

Sew a hemSo the first step in sewing a hem is to turn down 1/4" (6mm) of the fabric, then Sewing a hemturn down another 1/4" so that the raw edge is completely tucked away.

This can be machine stitched (as on left) by running a straight line of stitching near the edge that is turned under, or it can be hand stitched (as on right) if you don't want the hemming to show on the right side of the fabric. Use small stitches and try to catch only a thread or a small amount of the fabric with the needle.

How to sew a hemIn the photo on the left I have tried to show both ways to help you decide which youSew a hem would prefer to do.

If you are sewing a hem on a skirt or trousers, the length of fabric turned over would vary according to how much you need to take up. It's very important to pin the hem and then try the garment on before you sew. That way you can correct any sagging bits before you sew. For a garment I would always recommend hand sewing the hem.

Sew a hemDepending on what you are sewing, the very easy option for hemming is toSew a hem zigzag along the edge of the fabric to prevent fraying, then turn over a hemming allowance and machine stitch in place. As you can see from the photo on the right, only the line of machine stitching shows through on the right side. This method works well when you have to produce a fancy dress or some such at very short notice.


HOW TO SEW A ROLLED HEM

How to sew a rolled hemA rolled hem is a lovely neat way of hemming fine fabrics like silk. Run a line of basting along where you want the hem line to be. Allowing 1/2" (12mm) from the edge of the fabric gives you more fabric to work with for the rolled hem. Allowing 1/4" (6mm) gives you a smaller roll. I usually use somewhere between the 2. Add a line of machine stitching half way between the basting and the edge of the fabric.

Working on the wrong side of the fabric, roll the edge of the fabric down to theSew a rolled hem line of basting marking where you want the hem to be. This actually sounds easier to do than it is! The way that works for me is to fold over a small allowance and then fold over again to bury the raw edge and then gently push the fold back up to the line of basting for the rolled hem. Slipstitch in place along the line of basting. There isn't room to pin so you have to keep doing it as you sew. When you have finished, remove the basting. To make a rolled hem is fiddly but well worth it if you are making a silk scarf, for example.

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