Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Narrow Hem

Once again I am apologizing for not posting anything here. It is First Communion and Wedding season here. So between that and Sew Beautiful assignment I am super busy.

I have been doing several narrow hems in the past weekend. I do not use a narrow hemmer foot. We just don't get along very well.:-(

I tried to explain how I do a narrow hem to Angie over the phone, who was working on my "Little Heart of Mine" dress from SB.

A picture is worth a thousand words so here it goes......

  • I first stitch a basting stitch about 1/4" from the raw edge. I am using a contrasting thread for photographic reasons....Honest. :-)

  • I then fold the fabric on the stitching line and press.

Next, I thread my sewing machine with water soluble thread. I love this stuff but if you lick the end of your thread like I do before you thread your needle, it doesn't work.

  • With the water soluble thread I am stitching very close to the fold line (about 1/16").

  • The next step is very important! Remove the water soluble thread from your machine and put it away. You don't want to accidentally use it to make a bathing suit or something.

  • With applique scissors, trim the excess fabric as close as you can to the stitching line without cutting through the stitching line.

  • Rethread your machine with matching thread. (Remember I am using a contrasting thread.) If you have an edge foot for your sewing machine go ahead and put it on.
  • I then turn the edge of the hem up and stitch on top of the water soluble thread stitching line.

  • When I press the finished hem with a steam iron, the water soluble thread will disappear. Or I can spritz it with a little bit of water and press.
  • And I am done!


  1. Thanks for a great tip. I don't like using the narrow hemming foot either.

  2. Brilliant to use the water soluble thread! And yes, a bathing suit would not be great for that thread. LOL I'm having a sewalong on my blog right now and one of the next steps is finishing the edges of lots of ruffles. Do you mind if I link to your tutorial for those who would like to do a narrow hem versus a serger rolled hem? You explained it so well!

  3. Ellie insired, Go Right ahead. You are always free to link my tutorials to your sewalong. ~janet

  4. This is probably a stupid question, but when using the water soluable thread, do you use it in the bobbin also?

    Thanks for the lesson.

  5. Stephanie, You can use it in the bobbin or on just top or both. I like to use it on top and in the bobbin because then everything dissolves.

  6. I love this! I have some things I can use this on. Since Wednesday is my birthday and I am planning on not leaving my sewing room unless absolutely necessary, maybe I will have to try it out:)

  7. Thanks Janet! I did link to it today and actually I used one of your pictures as the link too! :) Thanks for the great tutorial!

  8. Beautiful and great tutorial. Thanks, Janet.