Hemming - 1/4'' Double Fold

Hemming seems simple, but it is a step that oddly be fairly difficult, especially with a slightly curved hem and fabric that slightly expands when stitching such as a lightweight linen. Hemming is usually one of the last steps of the garment construction process so it is also very easy to rush and then be left with disappointment if something goes awry. 

A couple tips will help things go a little easier for you:

  • Make sure you use an iron when pressing hems. Make sure your iron is set on a steam setting and has plenty of water.
  • Fold hem beginning at center front, work your way to side seams.
  • Likewise for back hem, fold hem beginning at center back, work your way to side seams.
  • Press first 1/4 fold with fingers and gently press with iron. Press first fold of entire hem before continuing on to press second fold. First fold will act as an edge for you to guide second fold.
  • Pin as needed to secure hem into place. Some may prefer to use many pins, while others may prefer to use none at all. It is all about what makes it easiest for you. Experiment and see what works.
  • Find your fabric is stretching significantly in length when hemming? This is common for. Try serging your raw edge first (decrease differential feed on serger a bit) and it will hold the fabric in place by creating a bit of stability.
  • Fabric rippling significantly when hemming? This may be a natural result of the fabric stretching as you sew it (it is completely find to embrace it), or it may be a sign you are using the wrong needle for your project. Try playing around with some scraps and using smaller needles (I use a size 11, and sometimes size 10 sharp needle for many lightweight garment projects). It also may be a thread tension issue  (tension tutorial coming soon).


 Hemming Third Born Simple Box Top

First 1/4'' fold: start at center front, work your way to side seams. Then start at center back work your way to side seams. Beginners: If 1/4'' fold is too tricky, a 3/8'' double fold is okay too!

Picture below depicts first fold it will work out okay if it is a little bigger or a bit imperfect in terms of consistent width (do your best here):

Second fold: start at center front and work your way to side seams. First fold will help guide your second fold. Do the same for back bodice hem starting at center back.

Pin hem as needed. The amount of pinning you do is a personal preference.

Edge stitch 1/8'' from edge of hem. Start at side seam, make sure to back tack. Take your time!

Press seam flat. You may notice the seam has stretched a bit especially if sewing with linen, this characteristic can be embraced or pressed out with an iron.

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