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Tips & Techniques > Hemming tips

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Posted by: Debbie Lancaster
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About Debbie Lancaster star
CA United States
Member since: 9/18/02
Reviews: 74 (tips: 28)
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Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 18 people
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Posted on: 9/12/04 10:57 AM
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 8 people   
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This tip just appeared in Threads, but I've been using it for quite a while. I don't know why it never occurred to me to add it here!

I've never gotten the hang of using tagboard templates for marking and pressing up hems. Instead, what I do is mark twice the hem depth on the wrong side of the garment with chalk, then fold up to the mark and press. The Threads tip suggests that you first fold over and press the raw edge, then mark twice the hem depth, fold up the hem, and press. I press the hem up first, then fold over the raw edge.

I also don't use a seam gauge. What I've found works best is a square 6-inch ruler (mine is made by Omnigrid, primarily, i think, for quilting). I place the ruler over the fabric, matching the raw edge with the grid line for twice the hem depth, then use chalk to make a continuous mark. As I move the chalk along, I pivot the ruler so that it follows the curve of the raw edge. It takes a little practice, but results in a smooth curve, and is very quick to do.

Once I've turned up the hem, I use the ruler and chalk to mark the line for turning the raw edge under. Because you can see all the marks (you aren't turning the fabric over them), I find this technique easier to do than to mark inside the hem line. And none of the marks will show on the right side of the garment.

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Annette1 said... (7/7/08 5:51 PM) Reply
What a great tip! Definitely one of those, "Why didn't I think of that" moments for me. :o)
Debbie Lancaster said... (2/17/05 5:15 PM) Reply
OKgirl, you use twice the hem depth because you're marking on the inside of the garment. If you mark a line four inches from the bottom of the garment, then if you fold the raw edge up to the marked line, you have a hem that's two inches deep. So if I want a hem that's one inch deep, I mark two inches above the raw edge on the inside of the garment. Try it on a scrap if you can't visualize it. What particularly do you want to know about the six-inch ruler?
OKgirl said... (2/15/05 7:58 PM) Reply
Hi Debbie, sorry but I have to ask if you can elaborate on the use of the 6" square... also, I don't understand why you have to match the edge with the grid line for "twice" the hem depth. I need lots of help on hemming for they are never even. I know it is probably simple but it is hard to learn without seeing it being done. Can you help me with this? Also, what brand of chalk do you use, is one brand better than another?
kempcor said... (9/30/04 6:15 PM) Reply
Great idea
Jennifer shaw said... (9/12/04 10:33 PM) Reply
Thanks. That is a great and simple idea, Debbie.
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