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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Blind Hem ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Blind Hem
Blind Hemming problems
Homeland1984
Homeland1984  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Pennsylvania USA
Member since 6/3/13
Posts: 5
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Date: 9/17/13 3:23 PM

Hi, I'm looking for some advice from the experienced sewers. I have some store bought slacks that I am taking the hem down. There was a generous 1-2" hem. I decided to sew on Wrights Soft & Easy Hem tape to give me an extra bit of length to work with. However, it didn't lay very nicely. The pants are a washable poly-knit with some stretchiness. The tape is not stretchy at all.

I sewed on the hem tape, folded up the desired hem and then used my blind hem foot to finish it up. The hem tape scrunched all up and it doesn't look that great. I'm trying to understand what went wrong. (1) Did I use the wrong tape?; (2) Was my stitch width too wide?; (3) Tension too strong?; (4) ????

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I have 3 more pairs of pants to finish up. Thank you.
-- Edited on 9/17/13 3:25 PM --

bestgrammy
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bestgrammy
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In reply to Homeland1984 <<


Date: 9/17/13 5:12 PM

I've been thinking this over and trying to visualize what could be the problem. So when using the blind hem foot and stitch...the straight stitching is on the hem tape and the zig zag is on the slacks material, right? I think there should be some stabilizer under the hem tape...even some strips of copy paper...maybe newspaper if the ink won't smear onto your fabric.

DonnaH
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DonnaH
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Date: 9/17/13 5:19 PM

I agree. I don't think the hem tape alone is up to a machine blind stitch (at least not with home machines). I'm not sure if it would work even with stabilizer, though, because the fabrics are so different. The right needle/tension/etc. for one is off for the other.

Have you tried it without the tape? When I use my machine's blind stitch function, I don't add hem tape.

The other option is to sew the tape on by machine, but then finish the hem (the blind part) by hand.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 9/17/13 5:29 PM

A perfect blind hem takes tweaking with each application.

You have two types of fabric that are not compatible; knit and woven.

You may have to hand baste to keep the layers in place as the machine stitches the hem.

ETA: I do not use commercial tapes and bindings. I do the same as suggested by SewLibra. Find something soft and colorful for a bit of pizazz or a something subtle if you prefer.





-- Edited on 9/18/13 10:54 AM --

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Homeland1984
Homeland1984  Friend of PR
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Pennsylvania USA
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Date: 9/17/13 5:43 PM

BASTING! I knew I forgot something important. My sewing manual specifically said to do that step.

Thank you everyone who replied. I think the mismatch of fabric types; stabilizing & basting are all at issue. I might have to hand hem them.

SewLibra
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Date: 9/18/13 0:13 AM

If you can't find stretch hem tape, do you have any fabric in your stash that is similar to your pants? If so, you could make your own tape and serge or edgestitch it so it doesn't ravel, then use your blindhem stitch or hand stitch. Three more pair to go...whew!

------
SewLibra
Brother SB4138, Bernina 1008, Brother 1034D, Janome Harmony 9102D

EsseG
EsseG
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Kansas USA
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Date: 9/18/13 6:27 AM

You'll might be able to hand stitch the hems quicker and neater than machine blind stitching. I use a flat overcast to finish the raw hem edge then stitch, alternating one stitch in the leg and one stitch in the hem with a double stitch every 3 inches or so. Goes quickly, doesn't show and won't pull out.

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/18/13 7:22 AM

With a bit of patience you may find you like hemming by hand better than blind hemming. For me it goes much faster by hand and is very relaxing.
I also agree with the problems from 2 different fabrics. When washed and dried, you will have different variations of shrinkage.
There are stretch tape and clear elastic tape products that will give better hem and seam results. Or the earlier suggestion of using a like-fabric from your stash. Or even turn up in place with a double sided fusible stabilizer.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

Homeland1984
Homeland1984  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/18/13 7:23 AM

I decided I really did need a hem tape of some kind just to get that extra 1/2" to work with. It is my curse in life to have legs that are longer than average. I dug into my stash and found some flexible lace tape. It sewed on so much nicer. I am planning to hem them by hand. I'm pretty sure the lace would be worse on the blind hem than the woven tape.

I'm so glad to have people to discuss these things with. I don't know anyone in my regular life who sews. Thank you everyone!
-- Edited on 9/18/13 7:23 AM --

Janie Viers
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Date: 9/18/13 10:07 AM

Make sure the leg is the same width all the way from the new hem to the stitch line of the new hem. Check pant leg width all the way down to edge of fabric. Even 1/8" difference can cause a lot of trouble.

------
JanieV

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