February 16, 2012


Ok, so I'm struggling to squeeze in the time to blog, despite my hopes of managing a post per week. Between opening my Chiropractic office, and working on a solo and costuming for a bellydance performance coming up next Friday, I'm pretty swamped! But at the suggestion of a friend, I've got a consolation prize for you! This friend recently wanted to teach herself how to sew, and has been keeping a blog of the process. (She's doing fantastic at sewing! I'm so proud of her!) Sometimes she asks for suggestions for how to do things in her sewing adventures, so I've typed up a few tutorials to help her along. She knows I'm pretty bad about keeping up with my own blog, so she recommended I put up my quick tutorials here as well. While I know my current followers are accomplished sewers, maybe they'll pick up a new and different way to do something from my tips. And for those who aren't yet followers and stumbled upon this blog by whatever means, I hope you enjoy these little tutorials as well!

In this evening's tutorial, I'll explain how to make pretty hems. This was originally written in reference to hemming a shirt, but the same concept woud apply to just about anything needing hemming, from garments to home decor. Enjoy!

How to Make Pretty Hems

1. Take an index card that has lines on it. Cut off the very bottom section, along the lowest of the blue lines. Each line on an index card is 1/4 inch apart. We will use this as a press card, so we will never need to truely measure a hem. :)

2. Determine how deep your hem needs to be. Many patterns will say to do a 1/2 inch hem, a 1 inch hem, a 2 inch hem, etc. If the pattern doesn’t say, I’ll typically do a 1/2 or 3/4 inch hem.

3. Heat up your iron to the appropriate setting for your fabric. If you’re unsure, test it on a scrap piece. You want it hot enough to make a nice crease, but not so hot that it scorches the fabric. If you smell smoke, it’s probably too hot. ^_~

4. Place you’re garment on the ironing board. Move things around so that only one layer of fabric is on the board, with the wrong side facing up. Place your press card on the wrong side of the fabric. Bring the edge of the unfinished hem up over the bottom edge of the card to meet the first line (1/4 inch). Press with the iron. Work the next section over in the same fashion, being sure that each pressed section touches & joins into the previous section. Repeat until you get back to where you started. Now you have 1/4 inch of the hem pressed up all the way around the garment. (Small note: if the curve of the hem is very deep, you can fold the press card in half vertically and use it in the above manner.) At this point, you can either stitch this part down, or just continue on to the next step. I usually just go on without stitching, to save time. I’m a lazy crafter. ^_~

5. Put your press card on the wrong side of the fabric again. Subtract 1/4 inch from the depth of hem which the instructions said to make. This will be the amount you will press up for this round. (If it said to make a 1 inch hem, you will press up another 3/4 inch, or 3 lines from the bottom of the card.) Keeping the pressed/creased edge folded over, bring the pressed edge up to meet the appropriate line on the press card (the third line from the bottom in the above example of a 1 inch total hem). Press the crease made by the card. Repeat the process on the next section, all the way around the hem. Make sure that each pressed section joins into the previous one. Once you’re done with this round, you should have a nicely pressed, even hem, with no raw edge of fabric showing.

6. Pin down the hem if you need to, and sew it down. It’s best if you get as close to the first pressed edge as you can. This is the edge that’s further up on the garment. If you want, you can always add another round of stitching 1/4 inch below that, but it’s usually fine without it.

Voila! Pretty hems!

If you have any questions, or if anything here was confusing, please leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help! Thanks for reading! (One of these days I'll actually get a completed craft posted!)

P.S. I finished the knit scarf I was working on! Haven't taken any pictures of it yet, though. It'll get on this blog eventually!