17 ways to make a perfect Handmade HEM {HEMMING STITCHES}

hemming stitches

I love a well stitched hem. It is the qualifying signature of a well made garment.  If it is a hand sewn hem all the better. True that a hand stitched hem takes a bit more (?) time and patience than a quick machine made hem. But if you have sewn your dress lovingly with care, you could do well with a little more patience and make that perfect hand made hem.

All the things that is mentioned in the post on 20 ways to stitch a machine made hem stands true here as well.

The hand made hemming stitches should be made with a single strand of thread. The test of a hand sewn hem is its near  invisibility and even stitching. However in some cases like a braided hem this is not so true. Other than the practical purpose of a hem in finishing the edges,  some of the hand sewn hems serve as beautiful decorative elements too

 

Table of Contents

    1. Ordinary turned under hem with whip stitch

    Even, slightly slanted whip stitches are used to stitch, turned under edges of the fabric to make an ordinary hem. Stitches are made very small so that almost nothing of the thread ( or as little as possible) shows on the right side of the garment.

    hem stitch

    2.Blind hem

    This is an almost invisible hem stitching . Basically you make small stitches between the folded edge and the garment on the back of the garment with just a one thread width of stitch showing up on the right side of the garment.

    Checkout the tutorial to make a blind hem finish by hand and by sewing machine. 

    hem stitch

    3. Slip Stitch hem

    This is another invisible hem stitch and the best option when sewing sheer fabrics or thin and lightweight fabrics. This stitch is made with the needle slipping inside the fold of the fabric edge in between stitches, then going on to catch one single thread from the fold and the right side of the fabric together.

    hem stitches

    4. Couch Stitch

    Vertical stitches are made inside the garment . The needle catches a single or two thread from the right side of the garment , then goes under the fold making a straight stitch on the fold. 

    5.Bar Tacked hem

    In case of a very bulky fabric or you donot want a line of hem stitches on the right side of the garment, you can bar tack (by hand or by machine) the hem to the seam allowances, at regular intervals. For extra strength Stitch in the ditch on all side seams of the hem to firmly anchor the hem. A bar tack stitch refers to a number of small stitches made closely together to make a thick straight bar. 

    6. Catch stitch hem (Herringbone stitch)

    This hem uses herringbone stitches inside the garment to catch the hem and the garment . As the herringbone stitches gives some stretch and flexibility to the hem, this is great to be used on sewing hems in knits. 

    hemming by hand

    7.Blanket stitched hem

    A hand stitched blanket stitch is used in the hem to finish the edges and hem. On the right side of the garment the stitches will show up as straight stitches.  Another attractive look is given to the back of the hem using graded blanket stitches. The thread is passed through the folds of the turned under edge in between stitches.

    Checkout this post on 11 variations of the blanket stitches

    hemming stitches

    8. Shell edge hem

    This is a beautiful finish for your hem. This edge stitch can be applied to the hem by hand. This edging creates little scallops on the edge of the fabric. Checkout this post on making a shell edge finish.

    how to sew a shell edge

    9. Rolled  hem 

    The fabric edge is rolled twice about 1/8 inches to the inside and decorative stitches are done around the edges. You could do buttonhole stitches or whipped stitches over the edges.

    hemming by hand stitches

     

    10. Picot edged hem

    Checkout the post on picot edge.

    picot edge

    11. Scalloped hem 

    Buttonhole stitches ( Close blanket stitches ) or blanket stitches are used in a graded fashion on already marked  scallop shapes on the edges. After working the stitches the fabric is cut away carefully. Sometimes a line of chain stitches are done on the edges, especially if you want a raised effect.

    hemming stitches

    12. Braided hem

    This hem involves thread stitched onto already finished hem and braided to form an ornamental edging for hem. Many types of braids are used on the edges like antwerp stitch or armenian stitch. Needle point is another braided hem finish you can use on your hems.

    braided hem stitch

    To make this hem you first have to finish the edge with a zig zag or other edge finishes and create loops around the edges.

    hem

     13. Fringed hem

    To make this edge on the hem,  a line of decorative hand stitching is done parallel to the edge. The distance from the raw edge of the fabric to the stitching line will be length of the fringe. Thread which are parallel to the edges are removed ( warp threads ) one by one till the stitching line. The fabric above the stitching line will not unravel.The weft thread will form the fring
    When making long fringes you will have to be careful that the threads of the fringes are not tangled. The fringes can be twisted to form ornamental braids as seen in the shawl below.

    hem

    You can add ribbon fringes to the edges as well.

    14. Tasseled edges on hem

    This hem is achieved by adding  separate tassel threads to the hem as is described in this post on making sari tassels. You can make tassels following this tutorial to make 6 types of tassels 

    make a tassel

    beaded tassels - hem

    15. Beaded hem

    In this hem, beads are attached to hem using needle and thread. This is a nice finish to sleeve hems and scarf hems.

    hemming stitches

    16  Pin hem

    pin hem

    This is a beautiful hem in which small holes are formed along the hem in a decorative line made with a thick needle. This hem is usually done in thin fabrics and is popularly used for household linens

    Thread two strands of embroidery floss ona thick needle. Fold the edge to the inside twice. Come up from the fold of the fabric effectively hiding the knot inside the fold and take a stitch just under the fold to the left 3-4 threads.

    Return to the same hole as earlier and come back up. This will make a stitch there; slightly tighten the thread so that two holes are made big on either side of the stitch

    Now go back under the fold ; then repeat the above steps.

    pin stitch hem

    17 Crochet edged hem

    Crocheting the edges of your garment will create a beautiful hem. Even if you donot know crochet you can have a crochet edge hem by using a blanket stitch to attach a crochet lace to your hem .

    Before crocheting the edge you may have to finish the fabric edge with a serged finish or a rolled hem.

    hemming stitches

    Related posts

    transparent sheer fabric   dressmaking tips

     

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