Tuesday, November 16, 2010

{invisible hem}

Today's tutorial is on blind hemming. We are still working on the Smocked Bishop dress, so if you are new to my blog, please click on the pages tab at the header of my blog and you can find the Smocked Bishop Tutorial and start from the beginning of this lesson series. 
The last tutorial was on french seams. Once the seams are completed, you can stitch your buttonholes. I like to lay my buttons where I think I want them to be, then I use my seam gauge and decide how far apart I want my buttons. With a water soluble marker, I mark where I am going to stitch my buttonholes. For this dress, I chose to space my buttons 1-1/2 inches apart.

Using Stitch 'n ditch, I machine stitched my buttonholes. The reason I use Stitch 'n ditch is because it just seems to help the machine sew a better buttonhole!
The buttonholes are now complete!

Invisible Hemming
I like to finish off the raw edge of my hem with a very narrow serged seam. Once we get started on hemming, I will tell you why I like to do this step.

My Bishop dress is a size 12 months, and the back finished length is suppose to be 16 inches. When measuring the back finished length, you will measure from the neck edge to the end of the finished hem.

I will be taking up a 4 inch hem. Using my seam gauge, I have set my marker at 4" and now will press up to the inside 4" all the way around my dress.

 Make sure that you press the french seams towards the back before you fold up the hem.

There are two ways you can blind hem - by machine or by hand. I prefer to blind hem by hand and I call it "invisible hemming".  I do want to show you what foot you would use if you choose to do a machine blind hem. On my Bernina, I would use my #5 foot - as you can see, this foot has a blade that goes down the center of the foot. When blind hemming, the blade will ride right next to the fold in your fabric. You will set your machine for the blind hem stitch. 

For a later tutorial, I will show how to do a machine blind hem, but for this tutorial, I want to focus on blind hemming by hand, or what I call an "invisible hem".

I like to begin and end at the center back and when I stitch, I take just a tiny bite of a stitch.

Since I serged my raw edge, I have the threads of the serged seam to stitch into, and the shadow of my hem on the front of the skirt is nice and even.
Once you take a stitch you will bring your needle up thru the loop, like you are doing a figure 8.

I like to space my stitches out by about 3/8ths of an inch.

Bring your needle to the next stitch and continue taking stitches and bringing the needle thru the loop before you pull it snug. I try to just pick up a few threads of the fabric so that my stitches will be nearly invisible on the front side of the fabric.

When you flip your fabric over, your stitches should be almost invisible!

That's all there is to it! This is a great stitch to do while the tv is on and you want to do some hand-sewing! On my next post, I will show some detailed pictures of my finished smocked bishop dress. I would LOVE for you to send me pictures of your smocked bishops that did with my sew-along and I will post them in a later journal entry!
As always, I LOVE your comments and questions! Oh and by the way, if you missed my last post, please click here and read a special story!


ShirleyC said...

My Home Ec. teacher in high school taught us how to blind hem, and that is all I do. It also stays in longer on things that are washed a lot. Good tutorial!

Cynthia Gilbreth said...

Nice and clear tutorial, and a very useful one. I find I prefer to blind hem by hand rather than machine. And you're right, it's perfect for in front of the tube.

Rettabug said...

Fantastic photos, Laurie! You explained it very well.

For me, hemming &/or hand stitching on the binding of a quilt is my most favorite part of the entire garment's construction. It is the final, finishing touch to a labor of love!


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