Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tutorial: Blind Hem

Another in the old-but-newly-released-to-the-public tutorials: Blind hemming by hand. Again, poor image quality. Sorry about that. This particular set of instructions was to encourage new costumers to hand-hem their garments, rather than running them through the sewing machine and leaving that telltale line of stitching that is easily identifiable in close range. Sometimes you don't have a choice, but it's always nice to hide your machine stitching whenever possible. It's that whole "suspension of disbelief" thing.


If you are finishing an unlined garment, you may find that hemming by hand is the best option. This is one of multiple techniques for hand-finishing a hem. It is good for any edge of an unlined garment – especially in places where you don’t want machine stitching to show.

What You’ll Need:

Your garment

Step 1: With the wrong side facing you, turn the edge of the garment up at least ½”, and then fold it up again. Pieces like skirts and cloaks will generally look better with a deeper hem – say, about 3”. Pin your new folded edge in place. In a cross section, your garment will look like this.

Step 2: Hide the knot on your thread inside the hem, if you can. Push your needle up through the fold.

Step 3: Use your needle to pick up 2 or 3 threads from your skirt. Avoid picking up too many, or you will end up with an obvious stitch line in your clothes.

Step 4: Push your needle back down into the folded portion of the hem and back out again. Your stitch length should ideally be between ¼” and ½” apart. Do not attempt to make big running stitches - I did that on my first Faire skirt, back in high school, with mildly disastrous results. Long story short: You will end up with big gaps and tear out your hem the first day. And possibly attempt to fix the problem with duct tape, because you have to get back to making crepes and roast beef sandwiches, and regret your hasty decision the rest of the weekend. Or be forced to use a stapler the booth manager hands you, because it's all there is and those strawberries aren't going to cut themselves. Moving on...


Step 5: Keep stitching away until your hem is complete. When you’re done, the right side of your garment should look something like this (my example is bubbly because I didn’t bother to press it, but do press your hem). 

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