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Tips & Techniques > Quick way to mark hems on stretchy knits

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Posted by: PhyllisC

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Member since: 8/2/02
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Posted on: 7/18/05 11:02 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 11 people   
This is a fast and easy way to mark hems on a swimsuit or a knit garment. This method keeps the knit from stretching while you mark the hem.

You need a clear ruler marked with at least 1/2 inch increments, a smooth tracing wheel (a toothed one will hack up the fabric) and some sewing tracing paper.

Place the tracing paper on your table with the marking side up, and place the the knit on top of that, RS up. Place the ruler at double your hem - for example, 1 inch for a 1/2 inch hem. Take the tracing wheel and roll along the ruler on the RS of the fabric, moving it as needed for a curved hem, if you have one.

The hem is now marked on the WS, and you can just fold up up the hem and secure with a glue stick. Sew your hem.

You should first test the tracing paper marking to make sure it washes out,

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Jolynn said... (8/1/05 9:35 AM) Reply
great idea!
manalicha said... (7/28/05 9:22 PM) Reply
It was a joy to read your instructions. My Mom taught me a similar style. She first had me run a basting stich 1/4 inch from edge of fabric, fold and press under, then meassure 2x the actual hem and mark WS, the just fold up the hem and secure. The basting stich can or not be removed. This worked on all types of fabric.
SandraB said... (7/27/05 12:50 PM) Reply
This is a good tip. Thank you. I recently re-discovered fusible bonding web, so this is what I use, instead of a glue stick, to bond the hem before stitching. What a difference it makes. No more wobbly looking hems.
PhyllisC said... (7/19/05 7:37 AM) Reply
Astro - yes - your're right about "rolling the tracing wheel" - I'll edit the tip to make that clear. As for marking the line twice the depth of the hem - the logic here is that after the hem is marked, you can just fold to your marked line. Hence a 1/2 inch hem will need to be marked at a 1 inch depth - because the fold happens at 1/2 inch. So your observation of: "I would think you'd have to mark above the desired finished length and fold up to it. " is indeed what you would do.
Astrostitcher said... (7/19/05 1:24 AM) Reply
Phyllis, I don't get it : "roll the hem along"? roll the tracing wheel along the hem? And why place the ruler at double the hem, up or below? How are you going to see the mark to sew? I would think you'd have to mark above the desired finished length and fold up to it. I guess I'm just not looking at this the right way as I haven't worked much with knits. Good suggestion about how to mark without stretching. Thanks.
sosoatsewing said... (7/18/05 5:54 PM) Reply
This is a good tip Phyllis, thanks for sharing!
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