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Tips & Techniques > Marking the hem allowance

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Posted by: Neefer

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Posted on: 2/20/04 1:50 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   
Does anyone else find it hard to turn up a consistent hem? I find I do better if I mark the allowance.

It's one thing to take one of my quilting rulers and mark the allowance (in 1/4 increments) with chalk on a straight hem. I can do it on a curved hem, but it takes much longer. If the hem allowance is in 1/8 inch increments, I have one very small ruler that will work, but it takes forever. I have every notion avaible for doing this, but nothing worked well for me.

Then I had a blinding flash of the obvious. My stitch plate on my sewing machine is marked in 1/8 inch increments. I could get a consistent allowance by running a line of basting (ie longest stitch available) at the allowance. It's still faster to use a ruler and chalk on a straight hem, but on any thing curved, this method is faster.

Further, when you go to press the hem allowance before stitching, the loose basting stitches will stick out a bit if they are right at the edge of the turned up fabric. When you are done hemming, pull out the basting stitches.

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Judy Williment said...
You could also use a magnetic stitching guide on your machine if you're turning up an odd amount. I don't think they're recommended for computerized machines though.
2/22/04 3:33 PM
Mary Stiefer said...
Even if you have an older machine without the ruler on the stitch plate you can still do this. In times past, when I didn't have the money for a nice machine, I used an old one and took masking tape, marked off the increments, and taped it to the sewing machine. That worked too. Good thinking.
2/28/04 10:38 AM
sew_crafty_girl said...
Thank-you for this tip! I'm a beginner and having a lot of trouble figuring out good ways to mark hemlines, especially on curves.
4/29/05 12:52 PM
Laughing Brooke said...
I thought I had every tool available for marking hems as well--much easier to do this on the machine. Great tip! Thanks. Laughing Brooke
5/11/05 12:34 PM
regine said...
That is a very good idea, thanks. Measuring with a ruler does take a lot of time and it not always accurate unless one concentrates very hard.
4/25/06 4:27 PM
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