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How Can You Hem Thin Cotton?

There are many options for sewing hems depending on what fabric you use and what garment you are making. We will show you how to make a hem in several ways today!

Let’s first address some common questions that beginners have about sewing hems.

What Stitch to Use for Hemming?

What Stitch to Use for Hemming

The type of garment, the fabric used, and the hem finishing chosen will determine which stitch to use for hemming your projects.

Unless you make a blind hem, a running stitch is the best choice for most hems.

How to Sew a Straight Hem?

If you’ve sewn a seam on something, you may have felt disappointed or disheartened.

Straight hems are made by marking the hemline with chalk or a tailor’s pen, then turning the hem and pinning it. To keep your stitch line straight, ensure the folded edge of your hem is at least a distance from the foot of your sewing machine.

A seam gauge can be used to measure your hem allowance more precisely.

How to Sew?

These are some sewing tips to consider before you start sewing hems.

  • You can use a tape measure or a sewing gauge to accurately mark the hem. It is the last thing you will sew, and you don’t want to have a hem that is too short.
  • If you are hemming a lightweight fabric, hang it up and let the fabric ‘drop’ overnight. This is important for any cut on the bias.
  • If you are hemming a garment, ensure the recipient is wearing it. This will allow you to mark the finished hemline. You can use a tailor’s chalk or a basting stitch if the fabric isn’t delicate. Ask someone to do it for you if the item is yours!
  • Before you hem, make sure the fabric edges are finished properly. A zig-zag stitch, an overlocker/serger, pinking shears, or even hem tape could be used.
  • You can choose the type of hem you prefer by considering the width you wish the hem should be. The widths of the various hems will be covered further down.
  • Interfacing is required for certain types of garments. Fusible and sew-in interfacing are options. However, you should consider this and your fabric choice before making any decisions.

Hand-Rolled Hem

Hand-Rolled Hem

Step 1

Use a razor blade or a rotary cutter to trim the edges of the fabric.

Step 2

A line should be stitched around the edge of the fabric, about 1/8 inch from the raw edge. Trim the edge to match the stitching.

Step 3

Use lightweight cotton thread to thread a hand-sewing machine needle. Start rolling the fabric edge across the stitched line using a thumb, forefinger, and a needle with lightweight cotton thread.

Step 4

The needle should be inserted through the middle of the roll to catch one thread of fabric near the raw edge. The needle should be brought back to the fold.

Step 5

Continue to stitch until the hem is finished. To tighten the stitches, pull gently on the thread. Continue this process until you have reached the hem. This will allow you to roll the fabric and conceal the stitching.

Machine-Stitched Hem

Machine-Stitched Hem

Step 1

Use a sharp pair of scissors or a rotary cutter to trim the raw edges of the fabric. You will need to cut enough 1-inch strips of tissue paper to match your fabric’s length. Pin the strips along the raw edge of the fabric on the wrong side.

Step 2

Use a 12- to-15-stitch-per inch setting to sew the tissue paper to your fabric.

Step 3

Take the tissue paper and tear it along the stitch line. Use needle-nosed scissors to remove any pieces. The sewing machine needle will perforate this tissue paper.

Step 4

Fold the fabric along the stitching line. Adjust the fold and pin it to the fabric. A hem should be about 1/4 inch from the inner edge. Trim the thread ends. Use an iron at a low, dry heat setting, press the hem.

Step 5

Fold the inner edge of the hem and pin it to your fabric. The final hem should be approximately 1/8 inch along the inner edge. Don’t backstitch the hem at the end; attach it manually with 2-3 small stitches. Use a low-heat iron to press the finished piece along its hem.

Different Types of Hems

Okay, now let’s talk about the types of hems you can make – these are only brief descriptions.

Single Fold Hem

Single Fold Hem

You will get exactly what you want from a single-fold hem. The fabric at the hem of the fabric is turned once and then stitched in its place.

Double Fold Hem

Double Fold Hem

Because it helps to close the fabric’s raw edges, the double-fold hem is much more popular than the single-fold hem. Due to the extra bulk, a double-fold hem is sometimes more difficult to achieve when sewing heavier fabric.

Rolled Hem

Rolled Hem

A rolled hem is used to sew fine silk scarves. Because the fabric is ‘rolled away” inside the hem, you don’t find any visible edge. Rolling hems can be sewn manually or by machine on lightweight fabrics.

Blind Hem

Blind Hem

It is also known as a blind hem. A special blind hem sewing machine foot can be used to sew a blind seam.

Pin Hem

Pin Hem

A pin hem is very similar to a rolled hem. It can be sewn on fine fabrics like chiffon but can also be used with lightweight cotton.

Pin hems are a great option for hemming circle skirts. Sealing a single or two-fold hem over 5mm can be difficult. 

Faced Hem

Faced Hem

Faced hems can add a professional touch to hand-sewn clothes. Faced hems are usually drafted to match the shape of the garment’s hem. They are not rolled over or rolled over.

Piped Hem

Piped Hem

Piped hems are a great way to add some detail to your hem.

Bound Hem

Bound Hem

A bound hem is one of the easiest to create. You attach binding to the hem allowance to wrap the fabric’s raw edge.

Hemming by Hand or Machine

Consider the actual project when deciding whether you should hem by hand or use your sewing machine.

It would be foolish to hand-sew bias binding to a circle skirt when a machine can do it much faster and more efficiently. However, you might want to hand-sew a blind seam to a silk jersey dress made of draped silk.

It’s up to you to decide how the final garment will look after the hem is finished.

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