Friday, February 7, 2014

How to Sew a No-Iron Baby Hem

Do you dread tiny hems? Have you resorted to rolling and stitching them by hand because you can't stand the thought of burning your fingers for hours at the ironing board? Have you considered turning down the post of matron of honor because you didn't want to sew the hem on the bride's maid's dress? Fear no more, because I've got your back.

   This hem technique eliminates all that annoying time at the ironing board, and it is equally useful for quick projects like the costume capes to be featured next week, and swanky things like wedding dresses.

   Instead of spending loads of time measuring and ironing, the idea behind this technique is to use the sewing machine to both mark how much needs to be folded under, and stabilize the edge so that folding is a breeze. Tricky shape shifting fabrics like silk chiffon grow amazingly docile with this treatment, as well as benefitting from the heft of the extra thread involved.

Baby seam 1
   I am using contrasting thread to show you how it's done, but you will probably want to use something that, you know, matches.

   Use the edge of the presser foot as a guide to stay stitch 1/4" from the raw edge of the fabric. No need to backstitch, and leave the thread tails.

Baby seam 3

Baby seam 2

   Start back at the top of the seam again. Wrong sides together, fold edge 1/4" right on the stitching line you just made.You usually don't need to iron this. Because of the stitching, the fold is usually quite compliant. Stitch down the center of that folded edge, 1/8" from the edge.

Baby seam 4

If you are making a 1/8" baby hem, trim away the raw edge, almost to the stitching.

Disregard this step if you are making a 1/4" hem.

Fold the raw edge in, and stitch as close to the inside fold as your skill level permits.

Baby Seam 5

   If this were a comic book, you would have just acquired a super power.
Now get out there and use it for the good!

Baby Seam Super

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