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Tips & Techniques > narrow edge stitch finish

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Posted by: Nan

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Posted on: 11/25/02 2:51 PM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
You may have seen this written up in Threads or elsewhere. It is a way to get a narrow machine stitched hem; particularly useful in adding weight to lightweight fabrics or for using on a bias skirt.

1. At the machine, fold your raw edge over to the wrong side about 1/4"-3/16" and sew 1/8" from the edge. You don't need pins for this, just foldover as you sew, maybe 3" or so at a time.
2. Using very sharp scissors (duckbilled applique scissors are a good choice) trim fabric very close to the stitching.
3. Now foldover again to the wrong side, and stitch on top of the original stitching.
4. Press hem.

You can, if you want a bit more weight, make a first line of stitching 1/4" from the raw edge so you have a built in guide for folding over your fabric.

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lorjoh1 said... (11/14/08 6:53 PM) Reply
this sounds great am making my first chiffon skirt on the bias many thanks
pamela thickens said... (1/28/03 11:06 PM) Reply
1/29/03 For Christmas I sewed some handkerchiefs for my husband out of very light, handkerchief weight linen. Instead of using regular wt. thread,Guterman size 10, I used size 3. It made the edges so much finer. The next time I do a rolled hem on lighter wt dress or skirt I will do the same. I would do the same on chiffon dress.
Judy Williment said... (11/28/02 6:18 AM) Reply
Thanks for this tip - I've seen it once or twice, but now I'm about to make my mother a chiffon shirt and skirt for my sister's wedding, and this would be perfect for the skirt hem, which is bias cut. Just what I needed to remind me!
Georgene said... (11/25/02 4:00 PM) Reply
This is a "knife-edge baby hem", and a great alternative to using an expensive baby roll hem foot. I have also seen this in very fine couture level garments where the second stitch is done by hand instead of by machine. You have to watch out when clipping off the seam allowance before the second turn. Cut too close and it may fray out from under the stitch. In this case I go back and rip out that little section and move it in a little bit and restitch. The other peril of this technique is accidently clipping thru the fabric behind the seam allowance so you have a fingernail slice out of the cloth above the stitch line. Oops! Then you have to go back and shorten the whole thing 3/8-1/2". This techinique works really well with extremely sheer fabric like chiffon. I would definately practice on a scrap or a similar fabric before launching in to your (almost) finished garment.
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