Monday, October 31, 2011

How to sew a blind hem

Happy Halloween! I think this is the first year we've carved pumpkins (or at least the first time in a while). We let the kids choose the features, and my five year old drew the face on. Naturally, the adults (read: my husband) did the cutting.


And as always, I felt ridiculously compelled to sew our costumes. So I altered one of my dresses and sewed a whole new one for my older daughter. (You can see the full family on my blog.)


I had every intention of sewing one for my younger daughter, too, but I realized . . . I like being DONE with sewing more than actually doing it! Plus, I found a beautiful dress she hadn't worn yet. (My son's costume was purchased; it was actually a pirate costume, but it worked perfectly.)

Because it's not enough for me to sew something that's already beyond my skill level, I decided to tackle  a new skill while sewing my daughter's dress: sewing a blind hem. I really, REALLY hate pressing narrow hems, so I thought I'd give a blind hem a shot. (You still have to press it, but it was a little better.) I was pretty pleased with the result.

A blind hem is a bit less noticeable way to hem a dress. (It's also especially good for hemming pants . . . but I don't even want to think about how you'd have to fold and twist them to do that!) Here's how it looks:


This is how the blind hem stitch looks on my machine (this is for woven/non stretch fabrics; stretch fabrics have smaller zigzags between the big zigzag peaks).


The peaks of the zigzags are the only parts of the hem stitching that goes through the top layer of fabric to be visible from the outside. It's all in the folding before you sew--which is a bit tricky to explain, but this is how I figured out to do it, loosely based on instruction from the family seamstress maven, Jasmine, (in July) and . The instructions are much easier to demonstrate in a video:



Here's a diagram to show where to sew:



You just want to catch the edge of the fold of the front fabric with the point of the zigzags. I practiced on scrap fabric to try to get the stitch width right so I could aim the fold for the midline of my sewing foot and catch the zigzags.

The pattern is Simplicity 4647, view A, size 3 (with the overlay skirt from view B, size 6). I didn't sew the sash on quite right. I think I could still fix it, though--either take out the stitching line and sew it down further forward, or tack it down. The fabric was the $1.99 costume satin (but it feels nice), with a glittery tulle net for the overlay. Oh, and her crown? $4! (I was excited for the good deal.)

Have you ever sewn a blind hem? What are your best tips?

4 comments :

Mom said...

They look adorable! I love the costumes. You have outdone yourself.

Brave Brooke said...

Those costumes are awesome! They are so cute!!

Just Jaime said...

I love the dress! Great tutorial

Tracy said...

Awww they are so sweet.
I could never get the blind hem just right.

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