The pandemic has changed so much of what regular life looks like. Now when a project inspires me instead of taking a short drive to my local fabric district (I am super blessed!) or to one of the other stores in my area I have to resort to digging through my stash or ordering online. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait for my mail to arrive so I get a little creative.
I really wanted a tea length, full, flowery skirt to add to my wardrobe. My problem was, I didn’t have enough of any of my floral fabrics to make a skirt. This is where I get very Maria von Trapp and dig out a recently thrifted set of curtains purchased for when I redo my living room. Perfect!
I whipped up a skirt (pattern: Paris Party Dress by Rebecca Page). Did I mention it has pockets?!?! It all came together quickly until I get to the hemming. Hemming is my least favourite thing in the world. I will make a very detailed quilt where each block takes me 5+ hours to make but don’t ask me to hem your pants! So what do I do when I get to this part of the skirt making? I cheat. Well cheat maybe a strong word. I find alternative ways to finish the hem without the headache of the double fold where I burn my fingers 50 times with the iron.
This is Part 1 of a 3 part series on Fast and Easy Hems! Make sure to check back here at janomelife for the next 2 parts on Wednesday and Friday this week!
Method 1: The rolled hem
This method is great if you love the length of your skirt unhemmed and don’t want to lose much length. I’m currently sewing on the Janome M7 Continental but many other Janome machines have the rolled hem or narrow hem foot and this function. Here is an overview on how to use your rolled hem foot. It is a bit tricky so try this on a scrap of fabric from your stash. Once you have mastered this, read on to find out how I used this on my skirt.
- Select the Sewing Applications menu (little t-shirt) and then select “Rolled Hem”.
- There are a few options here but I used the Straight Stitch.
3. Attach the D rolled hem foot on your machine.
4. Fold the fabric twice to form a hem 0.3 cm (1/8”) and 5cm (2”) long and press. We want to start the hem first like this so it feeds in the foot properly and you have a uniform looking hem. Essentially you are just giving it a bit of help at the beginning.
5. Place the fabric under the foot making sure to line up NOT with the outside edge of the foot but with the inner edge of the right side of the foot (See picture below) and turn the hand wheel to put the needle down into the fabric.
6. Lower the foot and hold onto the thread tails, then slowly stitch forward a few stitches to start securing the hem.
7. Stop with the needle down in the fabric, raise the foot and feed the edge of the fabric into the curl of the foot.
8. Continue sewing making sure that your fabric is feeding into the curl evenly. You may need to slow down.
9. Look at you! You are making a rolled hem!
On to the Skirt!
Here are the tips and tricks I used to make use this on my skirt.
To start my rolled hem I opened up one side seam so I had an edge to start with.
To reduce the bulk on the rest of the seams your rolled hem will go over snip a little out of the seam allowance. Then following the steps above I started by ironing down a 2” section to get the hem started.
If at any time your rolled hem falls apart don’t freak out! It happens to the best of us. Stop right away because it is easier to fix now than going back to fix it later. Trust me, I’ve tried. Remove about 10 stitches from where it starts to go awry, then restart your rolled hem like at the beginning. Line up your fabric, sew enough stitches until you can start to feed the edge fabric back into the curl of the foot and continue on as before.
Once you are finished sew your side seam back together. You can see here that mine is off by a smidgeon, that’s ok, no one will notice that. You have finished hemming with very little ironing.
I ended up using a rolled hem on my skirt and I must say this will probably be my go to method from now on. It looks neat, tiny and very professional.
Have you ever used this method before?
I hope this helps you get through the big task of hemming a full skirt!
Take Care! And a quick reminder that I will be hosting an Instagram Live TOMORROW 28th April at 10am PST/11am Mountain/1pm Eastern on making your own continuous bias tape. Look forward to having you tune in for that.