Almost everyone has to hem something they’ve purchased. Whether is too long and has to be shortened or its too short and a piece has to be added. Making your garment the right length for you will make you look and feel better. I always like to recreate the way the hem was made in the factory. If it was topstitched by machine, I recreate the same width of hem and even try and match the stitch length! A little crazy, yep! If its done by an invisible stitch, I will use my blind hem stitch on my sewing machine.
T-shirts, golf shirts, knit dresses and pants, are all hemmed using a coverstitch machine. With the coverstitch, the hem stitching won’t pop when you put it on.
1. Fold the access fabric to the wrong side of garment to the desired length. Press. If necessary unpick the original hem and press out folds.
Tip: The stitches will unravel if you can determine the ‘end’ of the stitching. Use scissors or seam ripper to remove some stitches. Find the loop as seen in the picture above and pull the thread gently, towards the stitching still to be unravelled.
2. Mark the depth of the hem on the right side of the garment, either with chalk or use the seam guide available for the CP while coverstitching. The depth should be the same as the original hem depth.
3. Start stitching near a side seam. Stitch for a few inches, stop with the needles down and trim the beginning threads, needles and looper. They won’t unravel! Continue stitching until you come back around to the beginning. As you come around, use the notches on the presser foot to line up the beginning of the stitching. My go to foot for this task is the Clearview foot. Stitches should overlap a few of the beginning stitches.
4. To remove the piece from the machine, ensure the needles are at their highest position. Raise the presser foot and carefully slide an awl or knitting needle under the presser foot, catching the needle threads, pulling them towards you. Cut the threads. With a firm, swift motion, pull the fabric to the back and left of the presser foot. The looper thread will still be attached, as this action pulls the needle threads to the underside and locked off the chain! Trim all the threads, leaving approximately 1/2″ tail, or longer if you want to bury them into the fabric with a needle.
If you have any other tips to add, please let us know and with share with our readers.
Happy Hemming! Linda P.