Thursday, October 3, 2013

How to Hem Chiffon the Easy Way {needle and thREAD}

By popular demand, this week's needle and thREAD post is dedicated to the "easy and neat little way to hem chiffon" I mentioned in last week's post.

I worked in a bridal shop for a few years and picked up some valuable sewing tricks from the in-house seamstress.  Hands-down the most practical and versatile thing I learned was how to make a hem suitable for chiffon.

Meet my very best friend, the narrow hem:


I'm going to get into all of the juicy hemming details here, so feel free to skip on down to the thREAD portion of things if learning bridal seamstress trade-secrets is not your cup of tea :o).

For those of you waiting impatiently to get your hands on my fool-proof method, let's get going:

Before you begin, pin your chiffon hem at whatever length you want it -- this is always the hardest part I think!  For a full-length dress, pin it 3/4 inches to 1 inch off of the ground (with your fancy shmancy shoes on) if you want a standard length hem.

1)  With the pins in, press your hem.


2)  Sew a straight stitch right up next to the fold (1/8 inch from the edge at the most). 


Use a smaller machine needle on chiffon.  Either size 70/10 or 75/11.


3)  VERY CAREFULLY trim off the extra fabric, leaving a tiny bit of fabric next to the stitching.




4) Fold up and press.  No need to pin.



5) Sew.  I like to move my needle to the right one notch and run the fabric next to the feed.  



6).  Done.  Press it and go!


This hem can be used for satin and works great for almost any kind of a-line bridesmaid dress.  I use it for linings*.  And wedding dresses.  You can make shawls with this method, too.  Versatile, I tell ya.

The best part about this hem is that it doesn't require a specialized sewing machine foot.  A win for simplicity!

In regard to reading this week, I'm still working on the Esolen book and the Trelease book I mentioned last week. The girls and I are doing FIAR and enjoying a colorful book by Marjorie Priceman.


Mmmm.  I could really go for a warm piece of apple pie right now.

Thanks for stopping by! For more needle and thREAD, head on over to In the Heart of My Home and see what everyone is up to!

If you need me in the next few days, I'll be fixing the halter strap on this dress and prepping for my sister's wedding on Saturday.  Prayers for safe travel and beautiful weather much appreciated!

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*To cut down on time when hemming linings (there are usually two of them and who has time for that???), I am less meticulous about trimming off the extra fabric and I don't do any pressing until after the hem is finished.


Love. This. Hem.

9 comments:

  1. aren't you a sweetie?! Very clever method!!! Thanks for taking the time to put this up for us :-)

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    1. Sure! I gotta procrastinate from laundry and packing somehow ;).

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  2. Thank you SO much! Im needing to fix a hem today for a bridesmaid dress and am excited that its so easy!!!

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    1. Happy to help! Best of luck! ~ Liz

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  3. Fab tutorial, I shall give it a try tomorrow!
    Thanks for sharing

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  4. Hi, am i sewing the second stitch on top of the first? So i sew a line, fold , press, cut, fold and sew again (on same sew line?)
    Thanks, maria

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    1. Hi Maria,

      Thanks for commenting! When you sew your final seam, you want to pick a certain distance from the edge for your sew line (1/8th maybe?) and sew around the whole skirt at that distance from the edge. Your new set of stitches might follow along on top of the old ones (in my picture the two sets of stitches are on top of each other), but it might not because the first set of stitches might not always be even.

      Hope that clears up the confusion, but feel free to ask more questions.

      ~ Liz

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  5. Any hints for hemming pleated chiffon? Thanks, Vickie

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    1. Hi Vickie, I have hemmed pleated chiffon with this method and it worked, though I honestly don't know if a different method would work better. I guess the trick is to press minimally when you make the hem (in order to retain the pleats as much as possible) and then when the hem is finished, press those pleats back into the hem with as much heat as the fabric can take. Or...convince the owner of the dress to wear higher heals?

      Best of luck and if you have any hints to share when you are done I'd love to hear them! ~ Liz

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