Sewing an Invisible Hem – Sew A Skirt Series

Welcome to Episode 10 in the How to Sew A Skirt Sew-along series.  The subject for today is: Sewing an Invisible Hem

How to Sew A Skirt. Beginners tutorial series covers fabric, patterns, cutting out, darts, zipper, lining, hems and more. You can totally learn to sew from this set of tutorials - from So Sew Easy.

 

Our skirt is nearly finished.  For me, it’s been a marathon of not just sewing, but taking notes, taking photos and blogging too.  My new skirt is already finished so I know it’s been worth it!  I’m using the example of the skirt in the middle here during our Sew A Skirt series.

How to Sew A Skirt. Beginners tutorial series covers fabric, patterns, cutting out, darts, zipper, lining, hems and more. You can totally learn to sew from this set of tutorials - from So Sew Easy.

 

Sewing an Invisible Hem

When it comes to hemming the skirt there are SO many options.  You can simply turn up the hem once, press then turn up again and sew around with a regular straight stitch.

Or you could do a fancy hem finish with a hemming tape -from Stitch in my side.

Or you could turn and hand stitch – from Megan Neilsen.

You can try any of these options, or if you fancy, how about having a go at an Invisible Seam, sometimes called a Blind Hem?  In invisible seam isn’t completely invisible – depending on the fabric and thread used, you might still see some regular tiny stitches.  And in a patterned fabric like mine, you cannot use a thread that matches all parts of the pattern, so some stitches will show.  But it does give a very nice result and I recommend having a try at this.

I’m working on a left over piece of fabric from my skirt so that I can show you the process using a bright pink thread to make the stitches easier to see.  If you haven’t done this type of hem before, then do practice before trying out on your skirt.

 

Preparation

The preparation of the hemline is important for this type of seam.  Once you have tried on your skirt and decided where you want the finished hemline to be, do measure this and mark it.

  • First measure up 1/4 inch all the way around your fabric and press the seam to the wrong side.
  • Then fold the fabric inside again until your skirt is the correct length.  Measure how much you have turned and turn this same amount all the way around to get an even hemline.  Using a sliding hem gauge will help.

Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

 

  • Once everything is pressed, you have to fold your entire hemline back to the outside of the skirt, just leaving a small area of the first turn visible.  This is where your stitching will go.
  • Select the invisible hem stitch from your sewing machine – consult your manual if you need to for how to set up the width of your stitch and adjust it if necessary.
  • If you have a Blind Hem Foot, great.  If not, you may still be able to do this with a regular machine foot if you line up the fabric carefully and stitch slowly.

Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

  • Take your fabric to the machine and line up as shown….

Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

  • When you sew, most of the stitches will be on the right hand side in the folded part of the hem fabric, and when the needle swings to the left, it should just catch the fabric to leave a tiny stitch.
  • Practice on spare fabric first to get your stitch width settings correct.
  • Once sewn, the hem should look like this from the inside…

Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

  • And like this on the outside of the hemline.  Remember I am using the bright pink thread to show you the tiny stitches.

Sewing an invisible hem.  Part of the Sew A Skirt tutorial series from So Sew Easy.

 

  • If you are happy with your practice, now go on and do the same to the hemline of your skirt.  Press when you are done.
  • If you don’t have the right presser foot, or don’t feel confident – that’s OK, just try one of the other more simple hemline finishes instead – try here, here or the links above.

Our next step

A quick recap of what we have completed so far in case you have missed a step and need to review :

  1. Overview, tools and equipment and choosing your fabric
  2. Drafting your custom fit pattern, and all about ease and seam allowances
  3. Cutting your fabric and pattern matching
  4. Marking darts perfectly
  5. Sewing darts perfectly
  6. All about zipper feet
  7. Sewing an invisible zipper
  8. Lining a skirt – part 1
  9. Lining a skirt – part 2, the zipper
  10. Sewing the hemline

 

Join me soon for the next step in our Sew A Skirt series – Finishing and series round up

 

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11 Responses to Sewing an Invisible Hem – Sew A Skirt Series

  1. Marilyn V says:

    I am very short, so whether I sew the garment from scratch or purchase it, I have to hem it. I have used a blind stitch hemmer for years and absolutely love it. Thank you for offering a tutorial for all to use and learn by. Sometimes we all need a refresher on how to do something.

  2. cweetgal says:

    Hi Deby,

    I have a question here .
    When we are hemming flared skirts with fabrics having some weight(Med weight cotton). Then when we double fold the hem has to be eased in right. The bottom edge will be longer than the place where it is to be folded and sewn (because of the flare) how is this tackled. For light weight fabrics the hem will be narrow so this is easy. But I am confused with med weight fabrics and when hem must be like a inch or so. Is really double fold hem recommended in this case ?

    Thanks for the series. I had fun reading through and refreshing my knowledge base:)

    • Deby Coles says:

      It’s not something I’ve had to do so far because the more gathered skirt doesn’t often suit me so almost all the skirts I sew are straight. But I have seen an article somewhere, which escapes me now, where after the first small turn, a line of almost basting stitches was sewn round and when the hem was turned up, the basting stitches were just picked up with a pin every few inches and pulled ever so slightly just enough to ease in the extra. If you have a serger I guess this isn’t a problem, but for us with just the regular sewing machine, dealing with raw edges can be more of a challenge. Most double old hems on a circle or curved skirt are going to be narrow for this very reason that turning up a wider hem is nearly impossble to do neatly. (I found this page to explain – http://studentz.squidoo.com/how-to-hem-a-circle-or-tight-curve-sewing-tutorials-tips)

  3. Sheridan R says:

    This is a great series! I love to sew for myself and all of these tips help projects look more professional!

    • Deby Coles says:

      Thank you for following along Sheridan. I really wanted this series to be different to a lot of the other ‘learn to sew’ series out there. By the end, if you have followed along through all the tutorials, a reader will have a really well fitting, and well finished lined skirt and will have tried out lots of useful sewing techniques. I think its important to concentrate on fit and quality finish so you can be proud of the result. None of us want our clothes to look ‘home made’ but YES to quality handmade.

  4. Ooh I love blind stitching but haven’t done it for years! Thanks for the refresher!

  5. Lisa says:

    I haven’t had good luck with this stitch so far, but I’m going to try it again tonight; my husband has a pair of pants that need to be re-hemmed. Thanks!

  6. Judy says:

    Hi Deby,

    You inspire to go back to sewing. It has been awhile I have touch my sewing maching buddies. I like that there is a blind hem foot available, making it easier to sew hem like this.

    Thank you so much for sharing all your sewing tutorials at Pin It Monday Hop. I appreciate it.

    Judy
    pursuitoffunctionalhome.com

  7. Katy @ Lolly Linens says:

    Thank you for a great tutorial!

  8. Sewing an invisible hem, that is something very usable for me to learn. Thank you so much for your tutorial!

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