I have recently rekindled my romance with a certain smarty-pants stitch on my sewing machine. I know you have it on yours, too, because even my 20+ year old Kenmore Machine has it. It’s the Blind Hem stitch. It looks like #7 here:
The straight part sews along the folded hem, and the little triangle jogs over to the front of the dress to catch a tiny bit. Here’s a finished hem, prior to a final pressing, up close:
One instance in which this hem is particularly useful is when you have a deeper fold (+1”) on a somewhat curved hem (like the Goodship Dress) where the folded up part of the hem is a bit wider than the portion of the dress where you attach the fold to form the hem.
Of course, you can use the blind hem on a straight edge as well…it’s great for trouser legs and far easier to alter than a topstitched hem.
Getting a successful blind hem is pretty easy once you get the prep done. I’ll use the Goodship Dress as an example in the following photos. The pattern calls for a 1 1/4” hem.
The first 1/4” is folded under on its own. I like to use the serger to finish this (and to mark the placement of the fold!)
After the initial 1/4” fold, the remaining hem allowance is 1”. I use my handy dandy seam gauge to measure:
and steam a crease into place like this:
Now comes the unusual bit; you fold back the hem to the right side of the dress:
with just a bit of the first 1/4” hem fold showing after you flip it over:
You can use your regular zigzag presser foot, but if you have a blind hem foot, use it.
Next, select the blind hem stitch I showed you up above, and align your fabric so the straight stitch falls to the right of the center bar and the single pop-over stitch jumps over to land on the left side. The tinier the bite this little pop-over stitch takes, the less visible the finished hem will be from the right side of the dress. (If you look at my finished hem in the second photo of this post, you’ll see a pretty big bite taken, but I kind of like that effect.)
Here’s how the set up looks on the machine:
I’m lifting the hem here, so you can see the fold on the right side of the dress:
When I get around to the contrast pleat, it’s easier to see the full stitch:
Here’s an extreme close-up of the wrong side of the completed stitch:
The final step is to fold the hem back in line with the wrong side of the dress:
And press in place. Notice the graffiti on the wall? Thanks, Ella.
Keep your eyes peeled for that adorable fabric. The print is Modern Home from Monaluna, which just made its debut last week (so it’s not available yet) at International Quilt Market trade show in Houston. Yes, there’s a Llama peeking out the brighter blue window near the right shoulder. The solid is available now here.
I hope the blind hem tutorial has been helpful, and that you’ll add this versatile finish to your sewing bag of tricks.