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Forum > Beginner's Forum > How to avoid clunky looking bottom hems ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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How to avoid clunky looking bottom hems
on knit skirts and pants
abuelita2
abuelita2  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/2/13 11:21 PM

Just finished my first knit 6-gore skirt from StyleArc, ready to hem. I notice on most pictures of even experienced sewers, even in Threads, the hem lines look various degrees of clunky--a dead giveaway to made-with-loving-hands.. How do they get that smooth flowing look in even the cheapest store-bought knit skirts?

In a wool jacket I made, I used a "horsehair" ribbon inside the hem to give it a beautiful supple edge. But how to achieve that in a 4-way stretch slinky knit??

From the Perennial Beginner ('cause I'm always trying new things!)

ladyv
ladyv
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Date: 9/3/13 0:05 AM

I like to use Steam a seam lite 2 in my knit hems. It keeps the fabric from stretching as it's sewn and holds it in place without pins. It's not stiff after you finish stitching and it can still be stretched. I have a cover hem machine but you can use a twin needle or just stitch twice to get a rtw look.

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Mardella in N. California

VivianZ
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Date: 9/3/13 8:46 AM

I use a product called Wash Away Wonder Tape by W. H. Collins out of Spartanburg, SC. (www.collinsnotions.com) It truly is a wonder tape. It is sticky on 2 sides. You tape it on the under side edge on what you are hemming, turn up the hem the amount you need, and pin it. After pinning you work your way around the hem, pull off the backing and stick the hem in place. It works on the narrowest hem, as it's 1/4 inch wide.
Here is the description: A double sided transparent tape that disappears after washing. Unlike other tapes, you can sew through it without fear of gumming up your needle.

I found it locally, but also found it as sold by the Dritz company.

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height 5'2" bust 36, waist 31, hip 39.
I have way too many yards to count, and I will never use them up, but I will die trying!

solosmocker
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Date: 9/3/13 4:58 PM

I've seen many clunky hems too. IMO they are not pressed properly and/or are too deep for the volume of fabric in the skirt. I like to press the hem on the wrong side over a thick towel but I don't press the very edge, trying to instead maintain a nice roll there. The fuller the skirt the narrower the hem should be.

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LauraTS
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Date: 9/3/13 7:32 PM

Well, they've got a special blind hemmer or coverstitch to make RTW - most of us home sewers don't. I get pretty good results with wash-away wonder tape and a stretch twin needle.

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tg33

tg33
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Date: 9/4/13 6:06 AM

Good question. I don't know, but I have the same problem. I made a skirt in a ponte knit, and hemmed it using a twin needle (2.5mm wide as that was the only one the shop had) but now I'm wondering if a wider twin needle would be better? The hem of the skirt is inclined to flip out, pivoting around where the twin stitching is. It could be too much tension in the thread either I guess?

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Reading from Europe

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to tg33 <<
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Date: 9/4/13 10:05 AM

Your guesses are pretty good. For knit skirts, you need a narrow hem. A wider twin needle and a looser tension would help. Bias hems are just finicky whether knit or woven and need a very narrow hem. Ponte is a heavier knit. I have only hemmed cardigans made out of ponte so the hem was a bit wider and a twin needle worked very well. I have seen on here somewhere that people will hand wind wooly nylon in the bobbin and use that with a twin needle. I haven't tried that but since wooly nylon is stretchy that might work very well especially on a bias hem.

LynnRowe
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In reply to abuelita2 <<
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Date: 9/4/13 10:27 AM

However you're sewing it, be it hemming machine, coverstitch machine, or sewing machine (or by hand), first press the hem up, and hand-baste it in place.

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Ubik
Ubik  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/6/13 9:31 PM

This question is for the more experienced users who are posting about the blind hemming specialty machines. Is this the same as the blind hem stitch on many home sewing machines? My old Kenmore has a blind hem stitch but I haven't used it or its stretch version yet. Thanks for any answers!

tigergirl
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Date: 9/7/13 7:50 AM

I've used hemming web to hem some knits. It's a very thin, flexible web that you iron between the two layers. Some fabrics, it'll hold fast for a zillion washes, other fabrics, it'll only hold for a few and there are of course fabrics that fall in between. I remember that I used this sucessfully with a slinky knit dress that I made http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/72810 - it's been washed numerous times and is still holding fast. I also tried to use it on this dress -> http://sewing.patternreview.com/review/pattern/80244 and it was coming undone after one wash. With thick textured knits, I've used a blind hem because it sinks in and isn't noticed. And of course, there's the twin needle.

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Brother BM-2600
Janome 693
Lumina Overlocker (Serger)
http://tigergirladventures.blogspot.com/

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