Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Rolled Hems - for Jill

and others who struggle to create those nice small hems with the rolled hem foot on a sewing machine. If you are a thoroughly modern Millie, find the 1996 book to the left by Carol Laflin Ahles ISBN 1-56158-153-4 Chapter 8 "Narrow Hemming" provides clear words,many pictures, and helpful tips. This is the book that gave me a start on sewing neat rolled hems. ** Ha - interesting side note - that was 10 years ago. One of my learning projects was making a bunch of black organdy handkerchiefs, which were presented to friends at my 50th birthday bash. The big 60 is coming up soon. Which is probably what jogged the memory of this project.

Since that time, have acquired numerous vintage sewing books. On the latest round of rolled hem making have been delving into the old ones. Pamphlet No 1 from Singer Sewing Library "Short Cuts to Home Sewing" published in 1929.

It has a slightly different way of starting the hem at the very edge than the newer Ahles book. Both work well.

Here are a few pages from the pamphlet. (click on each picture to enlarge.)

So besides these resources, do I personally have any helpful comments. Why, of course.

Start with straight edge hems on light weight cotton - quilting cotton is fine, pima cotton is superb.

Use fabric that is on grain, off grain crooked fabric is more challenging to feed smoothly and evenly through the foot. Then also cut the fabric straight with the grain, either by tearing or pulling a thread and cutting. (If you tear, sometimes need to trim the wiskers before hemming.)

Use the widest rolled edge hem foot - yep there are different widths of turn. I have one 4mm and one 2 mm. The 4mm is much easier to manage. IMHO

The 4mm is great for dishtowels and one can also do a bit heavier material - such as linen or beafy cotton.

The 2mm is nice for silk scarves, fine cotton, fine linen.

Sometimes for the very fine fabrics - using a stiffener or spray starch on the fabric makes it easier to manage the edge as it feeds through the foot.

That is all I can think of at this time. Hope it has been helpful.

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