Sewing Vloggers

Friday, March 4, 2011

Baby Hems

I decided to use a "baby hem" for the edges of the peplum on this blouse. It is a treatment used to hem sheer fabrics. First you need to sew a line of stitching along the area to be hemmed at where you would like the finished edge of the hem. Your hem will be 1/8 th inch shorter than this so keep that in mind. You can see here the French seams that I did on this blouse. Cut them back at an angle  in that seam allowance.
I used a 1.5 stitch length. Check your tensions. One layer of sheer is different from several layers in a french seam and it will need adjusting as you can see here. I was able to correct the tension for the rest of the hem.

Fold this hem allowance to the inside of the garment, favoring the stitch line. That means the stitching will not be on the edge but rolled a tiny bit to the inside. Press in place. Go back to the machine and sew a line of stitching 1/8th inch or less back from the folded edge. I used an edge stitching foot and 1.5 stitch length. The edge stitching foot is really important for this technique. Press again. Using spray starch on every pressing step in this process really helps tame the unruliness of a poly sheer.
To facilitate the next step, place the strip under the presser foot and lower the foot. That is your "third hand". Hopefully with some applique scissors, cut back to the line of stitching you just did as in the photo.

Once this is all trimmed back, spray more starch. Turn that edge once more to the inside and press again. Go back to the machine, again using that edge stitching foot, and stitch right over the previous stitching, about an 1/8th inch from the edge. Your hem is now complete. It has 3 lines of stitching within giving it some extra weight to help the sheer hang nicely.

Couple of hints: I used an extra fine 100% cotton thread to sew this garment. It really helps with the hem.

If you are using fine sewing thread, which I highly recommend for any "dress" blouse, use the same in the bobbin. Mark your bobbin with an F with a fine Sharpie so that you will know it is the finer thread. No sense in guessing!

Afterthought: I find it easier and more accurate to do one length of sewing at a time. In other words I had a peplum. It had a curved hem edge. It also had two center fronts that needed the "baby hem" as well. I first did the peplum hem edge, stitching from edge to opposite edge. Once the whole process was complete on that edge, I did each center front edge. No attempting to turn corners here. I find it gives a neater finish. When I get to the corner I stop stitching and then tie of the threads and insert them into the fold of the hem. Bring the needle out of the hem and snip off the thread. 

All that is left is putting on the buttons. Hopefully pics will be up tomorrow. It is one of those simple little garments that I will probably get a ton of wear from, therefore making it priceless....Bunny


  1. I use this technique too, and love it! Makes a beautiful, tiny hem.

  2. I've got a bag of sheer fabric in my stash. This hem technique will be very helpful with that fabric. Thanks!

  3. Wonderful explanation of the technique. Thank-you! I'll have to try the spray starch. For some reason I'm afraid that it will ruin my garment.

  4. I saw this hem technique in threads and used it on the last top I sewed. It worked pretty well, but it didn't look as nice as yours! I've taken note that it might be a good idea to use finer thread. I tend to use Guterman sew all poly for everthing.

  5. This is such a nice finish and one that I use all the time. Thanks for sharing this technique.

  6. Great post! Thanks for de-mystifying a tough sewing problem!

  7. Beautiful! We call this the chiffon hem. I learned it from some friends who had worked for Bob Mackie in his Elisabeth Courtney workroom. It's so much neater than a rolled hem and easier too I think.
    Nice photos, great blog!

  8. I think this will great if I attempt to hem some sheer infinity scarfs for Christmas. Beautifully explained. Thank you!

  9. I have had difficulty using my rolled hemming foot so this technique may be the answer to all my problems.

  10. I have struggled using my rolled hemming foot for years, and years, and years. This technique may just be the answer to all my previous problems.

  11. I haven't used a rolled hem foot in years. They are just too frustrating. There are several tiny hem techniques out there that give much more consistent satisfying results. Glad the technique has been so popular. It's an old post but I constantly get hits on it.


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