Whether you’re sewing a dress, top or bottom, every clothing item requires some sort of clean hem finishing. How you choose to clean-finish the hem of a garment is really up to you, but close attention should be paid to the kind of fabric you are using and what style you are sewing. If you are a beginner dressmaker and are still learning fabric drape and simple sewing finishing methods, the information bellow will come in handy when you’re confronted with completing the hem.
1. Double Fold and Stitch (Machine Stitched Hem)
This is the most common hem finish and the one that works best with almost all fabrics. It is simple to do and does not require many steps. As you practice sewing more often, you will find little ways to do things that work best for you. In the steps bellow, we’ll show you the easiest way to achieve a clean machine stitched hem (double folded).
How to sew:
First, think about how much hem allowance you have. Hem allowance is the distance from raw edge to the actual dress length, which allows you to clean finish the raw edge at the bottom of a garment. In our sample bellow, the hem allowance is 1”. If you are beginner, we recommend giving yourself a 1" hem allowance on most hems- it is easy to manage and gives you enough excess to work with in case you make a mistake.
Step 1: Fold hem at ½” towards the inside of the garment and iron it down as you fold. Do this until you've created an even fold along the entire hem.
Step 2: Fold once more at ½” (this will use up the entire 1” seam allowance) along the hem to enclose the raw edge, and iron as you fold. Secure the fold with pins as you fold and iron. Place the pins horizontally along the hem for faster and easier stitching on the machine- Horizontally-placed pins are easier and safer to remove as you sew.
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