Part 2: Fast and Easy Hems (Overedge, one fold hem)

Hi! This part 2 of a 3 part series on Fast and Easy Hems. If you missed the first blog post you can find it here. There we covered creating a rolled hem with very little ironing!

To recap, I wanted to make myself a new skirt but didn’t have enough fabric at home and I was far too impatient to order some fabric in, so I repurposed a beautiful set of curtains I had purchased for whenever I updated my living room, which to be honest, probably won’t happen this year. I finished the skirt but when I got to the hemming stage I just couldn’t face the normal double fold hem and my klutziness which I know would result in burned fingertips. I used the Paris Party Dress from Rebecca Page for this skirt! Its a great little pattern and the bonus is it is free!

Today I’m going to show you how to use the Overedge or Overcasting M foot to finish the edge and then you only have to do a one fold hem. One fold is so much easier than 2! Today I’m sewing on Janome’s M7 Continental which comes standard with the Overedge foot but many other Janome machines use a similar Overedge foot( both for 7mm and 9mm Janome Models). The Overedge foot allows you to finish the edge preventing your fabric from fraying in the wash. You could use a zigzag stitch but I find the Overedge foot stands up a lot better after a few washings.

Before starting, try on your skirt and determine how much you need to hem it. The length you are hemming is how deep your hem will be. So if you need to take off 3” you will have a 3” hem. If you don’t like the look of a deep hem consider trimming your skirt a bit first. For this tutorial I’m using a 1.5” hem which I really like the look of. 

The M Overedge foot for Janome’s M7 Continental has a couple of cool features. Looking at it from the top you will see a black guide. This helps keep the fabric in the right place. While you are sewing with it you want to make sure the edge of the fabric sits tight to the guide. You will also notice 3 wires going to the back of the foot. If you flip it over you will see two of the wires end shorter than the 3rd longer wire. This allows the threads to lay over the wires and slide off the back. 

After attaching the Overedge foot select the Sewing Applications menu (little t-shirt icon) and then select “Overedge Woven”. This stitch is usually used for 2 layers of woven fabric but it works on just one. There are 3 options to pick from. Try them all out on a scrap and pick the one that works the best for you. I liked the 2Layers 3 the best. It worked well for my fabric and I felt like it would prevent the most unravelling of the edge. Once you have picked your favourite then Overedge the bottom of your skirt. 

Next you are going to have to use your iron.  Working in small sections to make sure your hem is nice and even fold your hem towards the back 1.5” (or your hem length) and give it a good press.

Now it’s on to the machine. I’m going to admit that sometimes, no matter what I do my ironing skills may not be the best at keeping a consistent hem. So when I go to sew the hem down I use the Guide Lines on the stitch plate to make sure I stitch a nice even hem. I pick a guideline that will result in me stitching close to the top of my hem but still allow for any inconsistent ironing.

Then you are done! You have a beautifully hemmed skirt!

If you happen to have a serger like Janome Pro4DX you can overlock your hem edge even easier!

Between this method and the rolled hem method in Part 1 of this series, which one do you see yourself using more?

Part 3 is coming up on Friday this week. Follow us o the right of the screen and you will not miss a single published post! 

Take care, and a quick reminder that Liz will be hosting an Instagram Live TOMORROW Thursday 30 April at 10am Pacific/11am Mountain/1 pm Eastern on the Janome Border Guide foot. 


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3 Responses to Part 2: Fast and Easy Hems (Overedge, one fold hem)

  1. Great posts, Amanda. About burning those fingertips. Two hints: 1. Use a bamboo skewer to hold stuff in place–I call the skewer my non-burning, non-bleeding finger extender. 2. Buy a piece of poster board. Carefully measure and cut strips using a rotary cutter/ruler/mat on the long side. Mine are 1/2″, 1″, 2, 3, 3 1/2, etc…you get the idea. I was working for an interior designer at the time and was making curtains and custom sheets (can you imagine being able to afford custom sheets? Neither can I, but I digress.) Place the perfectly cut strip on the wrong side of whatever your are going to hem. Fold the raw edge over the strip of poster board (manila file folders also work) so it is perfectly aligned with the upper edge of the strip. Iron. Having that straight edge on the fold line yields a crisp press. It you want to do a “fold-fold” or “turn-turn” hem, once the first fold is pressed all the way around, leave the poster board in place. Snug the poster board strip into the fold, then turn up and repeat the process. If you need a 1/4″ turn under, I marked a line with Identi-Pen (a super permanent sharpie that won’t wash out in the laundry) 1/4″ from the edge of my 5″ wide poster board strip. Fold the raw edge up to that line and press. Then use whatever width strip you need for the next turn (if you need another). Hope this helps!


  2. Wilma. Osmond says:

    I am enjoying these tips and other things very much.I am a quilter and I can see Iwas not using my machine to it’s full potential.


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