A trick for simplified hemming

simple hemming trickHemming is that step that’s always such a drag for me. I guess its the equivalent of binding a quilt for some, but I love that step in quilting and always do it by hand. But there’s something about hemming garments, especially with curved seams that is just loathsome. Well, it used to be that way. Thankfully I’ve found a little trick that makes hemming one of my favorite steps now, and I am actually excited when I get to the point in the project when I can do it. 

I’ve found that most patterns will tell you to turn your hem up by so much then again, and then stitch the hem in place. Generally this assumes you will get out your hem gauge and go through that headache. Nope.

Then there are the patterns that instruct you to sew a line of stitches, say 1/4″ away from the raw edge to use as a folding guide. Liesl Gibson encourages this method often, and its really quite genius. It takes the headache out of so much hemming. So that’s what I generally do.

But! If you have a serger (and I cannot recommend them highly enough if you do garment sewing), there’s an even easier step that yields a slightly stiffer raw edge for turning, and it makes all the difference in the world. So say you have to turn your hem by 3/8″ twice, just serge the raw edge and use it as a turning guide. 

I have been doing this on everything. I used to detest hemming curved shirt hems because when you get to that side seam arc, its just THE WORST, but if you serge the raw edges first, it gives you a perfectly even hem every time. 

If you have to turn the hem up by more than 3/8″ or so, its still easier to do so this way. Serge the first part then turn and press, then you can stitch a line of basting stitches as a guide for turning. You can even get out your ruler and mark where the folded edge should be, then pin and press if you prefer to do that. 

This is just one of those “save my sanity” tricks that I’ve found, so I thought I would share with you in case you find it helpful too. 

I’m behind where I’d like to be on blogging for the week, but I’ve got so much more to share here as I get caught up! I have a few tutorials coming up that I’m so excited to post in the coming days!

What do you think of my newly redesigned site? My amazing sister helped me get it right, and I’m so happy with it. Technology and I are not good friends, so I’m very thankful for a sister who is willing to help me where I lack skill.


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Welcome to Olivia Jane Handcrafted! I'm Meredith and this is my creative journal. Here you'll find loads of inspiration for a handmade wardrobe, home decor, bags, and quilts. I even have plenty of projects and tutorials to get you started or help you along the way.

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