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Tips & Techniques > Use basting stitch as hem guide

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Posted by: mudcat

About mudcat starstar
Member since: 1/17/02
Reviews: 92 (tips: 1)
Skill level:Advanced
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Posted on: 11/8/02 0:12 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 4 people   Very Helpful by 13 people   
Rather than making hems (especially 1/4" or 3/8" ones), I run a basting stitch at the appropriate hem mark using the guide on my machine or my 1/4" foot. I generally use a thread that contrasts with my fabric so it's easily seen.

I then sew the hem with a normal stitch by turning the hem (after finishing it with my seam/overcast stitch) under at the baste line and sewing approximately 1/8" less than the what the baste line was sewn at.

Once I'm done hemming I pull the basting threads. This gives me accuracy and with knits or necklines I find it eliminates stretching problems because I handle the edge a lot less then trying to use a hem guage and pins.

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threadgenie said... (1/14/12 9:55 PM) Reply
My hemming is usually not very pretty. I'll try your method. Thanks for the tip.
Caliope said... (2/2/10 11:21 PM) Reply
I have been doing this for years for all hems, not just very narrow ones. I always get neat even hems. So much easier than trying to get those darn hemmers to work! For EeLo - it is the bottom edge of the fabric - if the bottom edge is one layer, it's one layer; if you have double fabric for some reason, it would be two layers. Just (baste) machine stitch on the turn line. Ex - if your hem is a total of one inch, you will stitch on the one inch line and 1) fold/iron the cut edge up to the basted line, 2) fold/iron a second time ON the basted line. Now stitch about 1/8" from the first fold (just catching the edge - your stitching will be just shy of 1/2" hem) - I use a mark on my presser foot to keep the stitching even, and I've been getting perfect hems for decades!
EeLo said... (6/18/09 11:14 PM) Reply
Hi this is a god review, but I have one question - is this basting stitch going through one or two layers of fabric?
SansSouci572 said... (11/10/02 11:22 PM) Reply
I use the thread that dissolves. Some dissolving threads are really thick, and bright white, easy to see. Its nice to use when applying bias binding too, you mark it with the thread first. You know how if you sew the binding on, or trim, whatever, and it looks like you caught it on one side, but you flip it over and you didn't? If you use the basting/dissolving thread as a guide then you for sure catch it. (Tip learned from Lyla Messinger)
mudcat said... (11/8/02 2:17 PM) Reply
I haven't tried the disolving thread. Isn't it clear? Seems like it might be hard to see.
AnneM said... (11/8/02 9:38 AM) Reply
Have you tried using the thread that disolves? I don't know if it would be worth using that; I have never tried it. And it would probably be wise to have the bobbin thread on the right side of the fabric, which would make it easier to remove.
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