Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Narrow Hem Tutorial

Maxi dresses make a great summer-time staple, and I particularly like to wear them on days when I am too lazy to shave my legs. Being 5'1", I used to shy away from them because I read somewhere that short folks shouldn't wear maxi dresses because it made them appear even shorter. However, seeing how the maxi dress can universally create a sense of relaxed elegance, I tossed my cares to the wind and decided to add a couple to my wardrobe. The one below I made from BurdaStyle's Printed Maxi Dress 05/2013 #123 with my mom's vintage fabric.
Being shorter than the standard size, I have to make sure that I hem the garment so that it's not spilling all around my feet. That screams "tripping hazard" plus it just looks ill-fitting. I find that a lot of these dresses are finished with a narrow rolled hem. Ideally, you want to have a narrow rolled hem foot, which come in different widths depending on the fabric you're using. Below are diagrams from Threads Magazine to help you understand the anatomy of the narrow rolled hem foot. 

Alternatively, you can achieve the narrow hem with a regular presser foot. Check out the "Narrow Hem: Three Ways" post by Four Square Walls. These methods are helpful when the hem edges are unfinished. However, say you're altering a dress and the hem is already finished. This technique, that I'm about the share, was taught to me by a seasoned seamstress. She would use this technique when we were had one hour to hem a dress, so this method is a time-saver. 
  1. On the right side, mark the new hem line. 
  2. With the wrong sides together, fold at the marking. Sew all the way around the hem just a scant couple millimetres from the fold. 
  3. Trim off the excess fabric as close to the stitching line as possible. An applique or duckbill scissor is helpful.
  4. Turn in the hem and sew all the way around.

xo Ann




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