Types of Sewing Hems

You can use many types of sewing hems on pants, skirts and dresses. Although, to the layman, it may look like all hems are created equal, this just isn't true. Different types of hems are used for different projects. Getting to know these hems will make your sewing projects look more professional.

Basic Hems And Finishes
The most common type of a hem is a basic hem. This hem is accomplished by folding over the bottom edge of the fabric and making a stitch at the top of the fold. You can make the stitch using a sewing machine or doing the sewing by hand.

There are many different types of hem finishes that you can use depending on the kind of fabric you're working with. For most fabrics, you can use a turned and stitched hem. You'll create a small hem and press it with an iron, and then create your larger hem and sew. It works with most lightweight fabrics and sheer fabrics.

Pinked And Stitched Hem
A pinked and stitched hem is appropriate for knits and fabrics that can unravel. Measure and mark the hemline, and then cut off a portion of the hem with pinking shears. Pinking shears create tiny peaks along the edge of the fabric. Machine stitch, or use a catch stitch if you are hand sewing. A zigzagged edge is also common. You can create one by using the zigzag stitch setting on your sewing machine.

Rolled Hems
Rolled hems are machine stitched, and they can be used for casual wear and sportswear. The hem is created by folding the hem of the clothing and creasing. Then you'll cut off the extra fabric and fold the fabric in toward the crease. Stitch along the top of the crease.

Blind Hems
Another popular type of hem is a blind hem. This hem is made with the sewing machine using the straight stitch blind hem or the stretch stitch blind hem setting on your sewing machine. This stitch will produce a hidden hem that won't show from the front of the fabric. It's great for dress clothes.

Hand Stitches
If you are making the stitch by hand, you can use one of two different stitching techniques. With an uneven stitch, you catch two or three threads with your needle and then slide the needle under the fabric. Bring the needle back out at intermittent points, and then sew a few more stitches. The other common hand stitching hemming method is a catch stitch, which consists of a series of diagonal stitches running in a zigzag from left to right.

Before you start your next sewing project, make sure to determine what type of hem is right for the fabric and for the garment.

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