Decorative Hemming

Decorative hemming or cheat’s entredeux!  In case you haven’t heard of that, as it is a bit old school, entredeux is a piece of lace that is inserted between two pieces of fabric.  Apparently people used to have time to do that.  It’s no secret that I like lace and have I often look for ways to incorporate it into garments.  This hemming technique combines hemming your garment with a really flat, non bulky hem and a very pretty, decorative strip that looks just like lace.

There are so many ways of hemming a skirt but I find this technique just amazing. This is the type of hemming I used on the duck egg blue spotty fabric on my reversible skirt.

You really do need to practise on a spare piece of fabric first with this one.  It is very scary when you have spent hours sewing a garment and finally got to the hemming and you’re faced with a wing needle which is going to put a row of holes into your lovely handmade item!  But it is so worth it.

So, as I just mentioned you will need a wing needle.

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I can’t stress enough the need to practise on a spare piece of fabric.  I’m generally very slack on this point but I did practise this one – a lot.  I tried several stitches and labelled them all with biro before deciding which one I wanted to use.  Luckily, my machine has a few stitches which are for this purpose.  It also has several stitches designed for other uses but I found they worked very well for this.  Some stitches complete this task with one row of stitching while others need two passes using the same holes.  To do this, stitch one row, then leaving the needle in the fabric while in the left hand position, turn your fabric 180 º and sew another row next to the first and the wing needle should go back into the same holes with each stitch.  You can do this very effectively with a simple zigzag stitch.  I eventually decided to use one of my machine’s built in hemming stitches.

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I set my machine to do a 3 mm wide and 2.5 mm length stitch.

Fold your hem and press.  Mark a line on the right side of your fabric where you want your line of stitching.  I marked my skirt 8 cm from the fold.  I should mention that you are meant to use a very fine thread such as Madeira for this, but I didn’t.  Once you are happy that you’ve chosen the best stitch, that your machine is set up properly and behaving, just complete your row (or two rows depending on which stitch you chose) without stopping.  Then turn your garment to the wrong side and trim off the excess fabric.

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Turn your garment the right way out and you’re done.

 

Next week I shall be showing you how I insert a concealed or invisible zip.

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