Thursday, October 24, 2013

So Sew! Day 24: Blind Hem

Welcome to day 24 of our 31 Days sewing series! This is a tutorial for a blind hem.

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I'll admit, a blind hem is not as easy as the other seams we've talked about this week, nor is it exactly my forte. In fact, I don't even have a machine with the right settings for the job, and I normally do a blind hem by hand.

Why bother? Well, a blind hem is important on men's pants or women's slacks - that is where I use it most often. Some other hems, like certain dresses, look best with a blind hem as well. It is ultimately up to you - if you don't mind the visual-ness of a normal hem, go ahead with it!

But back to the blind hem - because I am no expert, I've called in the reinforcements  - aka, my Grammie - to show you how this hem is done!

She is using an older Kenmore machine. Here are the instructions in her owner's manual for the correct settings for a blind hem.

On her machine, those settings look like this:

If your machine has the capability of a blind hem, your machine manual will have the directions for the settings you need. Basically, you need to have a blind hem stitch on the special stitches dial, and be able to set the width and length of stitch at the appropriate places for a good stitch.

Now to actually create the stitch:

Start by folding up your piece to create the size hem you desire, wrong sides together.

Now take that hem and fold it back against the fabric again, right sides together this time.

It is confusing to explain, even in pictures! Let me go through that again. See this edge peeking out?

That is this edge from when you folded up the hem the first time.

You will be sewing down this little edge peeking out to create your blind hem.

Place this hem under the presser foot like this, with the needle positioned over that small edge.

What the blind stitch will do is sew a few stitches down this edge, then do one zig-zag stitch to the left to grab on to the rest of the fabric. I outlined one of these in pink to try to show you the pattern better.

So instead of having a solid line of stitching like a regular hem, the blind hem just grabs one stitch every so often to be less noticeable.

Here is what it looks like when you flip it over. Once it is ironed, that line will disappear, and your stitch will be hidden!

So that is the blind hem. I realize it is a bit confusing to understand, even with pictures, so please let me know if you have any other questions!

Challenge: Read through these instructions again, and read your owner's manual to see the settings for a blind hem on your machine. Once you think you've got it figured out, try it on a scrap piece of fabric. It doesn't end up being as complicated as it seems!

Other posts in this series:

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