Hem & Edging

Judy Hall has some great tips on hemming in this second post on the topic. With a few clever techniques, you can achieve a more professional finish, in less time! Do you ever think your blind hem stitching is not quite “blind”? Maybe you could use some help. There are various products that will improve your stitch perfection! Magnifiers that fit onto your machine, clip onto your glasses, wear around your neck or wear on your forehead. Magnifying glasses from the pharmacy work well for some people too.

If you do choose to take up a hem using the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine, make sure you guide your fabric consistently, just barely touching the foot’s guide, not pushing it firmly against it – that’s how inconsistency occurs I’ve found. If you can’t sew straight, maybe something attached to your sewing machine to help you view a straight line better. Remember, never watch where you are actually sewing, but in front of the needle where you are about to sew. A Qtools Sewing Edge is one such product to assist a consistent straight sewing line.  

If you need to shorten the length of jeans, reproduce the original appearance of many jeans with a heavy topstitch thread in old yellow and if you can’t purchase such, use regular thread doubled. ie two threads on your top spool holders simultaneously threaded but going through the same eye of the sewing machine needle. You will need to use a Topstitch Needle for this purpose as it has a larger elongated eye and a deeper groove in the front of the needle to accommodate a heavier thread. Refer to Nifty Notions column in Into Craft Issue October 2011. Click on the link and scroll down to find the post. You don’t always need to use an invisible hemming method – a topstitched hem is appropriate in some cases, such as on jeans. The help of a Jean-A-Ma-Jig or The Hump Jumper may be useful to glide easily over the lapped side seams where it is much thicker density than the rest of the hem.  

  Just a note when using two threads, same as for using a Twin Needle, use the two spools of thread (or one spool and one bobbin to save purchasing two reels of thread J) having one allowing the thread to be pulled from the spool in a clockwise direction and the other anti-clockwise. This eliminates uneven release due to one gathering speed rubbing against the other. Using a Twin Needle is an ideal way of hemming any fabric, and in particular, is perfect for difficult-to-hem fabrics. I did show a Twin Needle being used on knits in last month’s Nifty Notions. Remember to check the width of the twin needle (distance between the two needles) as well as the size and whether or not it is a Sharp Twin Needle or one specifically for Knit/Stretch Fabrics.  

  Speaking of stitching hems, it is the ideal method when no extra fabric for a normal hem is allowed and certainly for fine fabrics. Also refer to last month’s Nifty Notions. Here are a few more examples, one is straight stitched whilst the other is sewn with a very narrow zig-zag.  

  Products mentioned are available from good haberdashery retail outlets or from Punch with Judy, a regular exhibitor at the Craft & Quilt Fairs. Or visit www.punchwithjudy.com.au  


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