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Tips & Techniques > Precise top stitching using a stitched threadguide

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Posted by: CathyWeeks

About CathyWeeks star
Member since: 9/5/08
Reviews: 22 (tips: 3)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 2 people
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Posted on: 11/8/10 12:59 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
I'm always frustrated when I top-stitch a turned up hem - either it doesn't properly catch the turned up fabric on the inside, or it does, but it's wavy and not parallel with the edge of the fabric.

So, here's a trick I discovered:

First turn fabric to wrong side and stitch along the very edge of the turned up hem. Your goal is to secure the fabric as close to the raw edge as possible.

Note: the line of stitching in the foreground is the serged edge. The hem is secured where the needle is - right at the raw edge.

Next flip the fabric over, and using the line of stitching as your guide, top sew with a stitch of your choice. I prefer a wide stitch that will hide the original line of stitching and allow me to "fudge" the spots where the hem might not have been perfectly parallel with the bottom edge of the hem.

I find it works best if you perfectly match the thread in the original line of stitching with the fabric, and then use a contrasting wide stitch when you topstitch.

Note: it's a cuff - you can see in the foreground the part I've already top stitched (satin zig-zag), AND you can see the line of stitching I'm using as a guide.

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luv2stitch said... (3/27/11 8:25 AM) Reply
I think this will be the fix I have been needing for hems in knits/fleece.
MaryStern said... (12/21/10 10:23 AM) Reply
Love this idea! Thank you for sharing this helpful hint.
Erin D said... (11/30/10 0:08 AM) Reply
This is really a smart idea-I've had the same issues you mentioned with hemming. Thanks for posting!
quathy said... (11/10/10 1:07 PM) Reply
Brilliant! I will certainly be using this technique! I've always dreaded hemming, but this inspires me!
nancy2001 said... (11/9/10 8:16 AM) Reply
Very ingenious.
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