This excellent pdf has good general advice with many technique photos. Both hand and machine sewn hems, many sections on curved hems, mitered corners at end.
Free pdf from Colette patterns on sewing hems.
Here’s an extract from that, a photo tutorial just on sewing hems by hand. Methods vary in speed and quality. A hand sewn hem can be nearly invisible, a thing of beauty 😀
Here are some specialist resources on individual techniques :
I used to find blind hems very counter-intuitive until I saw a video.
It’s easiest to get good spacing, and the tiniest stitches, if you have a special blind hem foot. That has a flange which controls where you stitch – run the flange along the fold. Control the ‘bite’ of the zigzag by changing the width of the stitch.
You can sew a blind hem without a special foot. You do need the special stitch, which alternates a few straight stitches with a zigzag.
This video from Angela Wolf at Craftsy shows a single fold hem, and using the blind hem foot. It’s best to finish the bottom edge before making a single fold hem.
This video from Melly Sews shows sewing a double fold hem without the special blind hem foot. She bastes the hem, and folds along the basting to make a reference line, then removes the basting after doing the blind hem stitching (the basting may be caught in the stitching).
If you prefer a photo tutorial, there’s a very detailed tutorial on making a double fold hem from Colette patterns.
Very narrow hem (hairline) – tutorial from Allison, without using a rolled hem foot – similar to next method.
Narrow curved hem – many web tutorials.
For a machine sewn hem, I like the clear photos in this one from Victory patterns.
Instructions for both single fold and double fold hems.
Yes, 3 lines of machine stitching – trying to get away with only 2 is ‘more haste less speed’ if you want a quality result !
For a more elegant finish, attach flexi-lace hem tape (try from Amazon), then sew the hem by hand.
Many of these techniques are time consuming, but worth it for a quality finish.
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First written November 2014, links updated June 2021
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