How to create a way edge on fabric? Solution – Lettuce Edging

How to sew a lettuce hem, a great method for finishing Knit-fabric edges and also other fabrics like chiffon.
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Do you want a way edge on your knit fabric, the kind seen in some store bought clothes skirt hems and sleeve edges ? You can make it easily with a Lettuce edge, a decorative wavy edge finish made on knit fabrics/stretchy fabrics and even for woven fabrics. 

The curly lettuce edging is a very easy way to finish the hem of knit garments. The edge ends up looking like a frill.  You just need a zig-zag stitch to make this edge finish.

You can use the lettuce edge on sleeve hems, skirt hems, collar edges, scarf edges.

How to do a Lettuce Edge Hem

The lettuce edge hem is best suited for a thin knit fabric. The edge of thin knit fabric curls and shapes into small ripples on the fabric edge. If you use it on a thick fabric like a thick sweater knit it may not look as ruffly.

You can choose a contrasting color for a vivid look or choose a thread the same color as the fabric. If you want the edge to have a decorative look choose a shiny thread – silk or rayon thread.

Put on the all-purpose/zig-zag stitch foot on your machine.  Change the stitch to zig-zag. Adjust the stitch width and stitch length. You can choose a closer stitch length for a solid effect.

machine setting for lettuce hem

Keep the fabric edge under the foot, in the middle. Start the machine – Stretch the fabric edge as you sew. This is the most important part of this whole sewing. If you do not stretch the flutes will not be formed.

stretch the fabric as you sew the lettuce hem

How to sew lettuce edge hem on chiffon

The lettuce edging is usually used on knits but you can create a wavy, ruffled effect with this method on lightweight fabrics like chiffon. If you do it correctly, it can look like a frill. You should try the effect on a spare piece of fabric before trying on your garment – try to change the machine settings and settle on the one you feel is the best.

Use a narrow zigzag stitch or serger to sew this – as you sew, the edge of the fabric will gently roll and gather under the presser foot and create the frilly effect you want. You have to be careful when you sew chiffon, do not pull the fabric – the fabric may fray.

lettuce edge hem on chiffon

Related post: Fabric edge finishes; How to sew ruffles ; How to use a ruffler presser foot ; How to use a gathering presser foot.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
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