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Best way of hemming shirt tails

Wendy_Parkinson's picture

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I have found the best way of hemming a curvy shirt tail hem is to do three-thread overlock stitch finish on the raw edge and then turn it up to the depth of the overlocking and machine into position. However, when the garment is worn, the hem keeps curling up to the outside. Has anyone else had this problem and what do I do about it? Any suggestions or comments would be welcome. Incidentally,I have had this hem flipping problem with hemming knit fabrics like T-shirting using my machine with both straight stitch and blind stitch, no matter what depth the hem is.

Judy_Beaton's picture

(post #27325, reply #1 of 4)

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Wendy I like to make myself man-style bigshirts with a rounded tail which comes up to the side seams. I like a 1/4-inch hem that is double topstitched to echo the flat felled seams on the shirt. I have found that the less I do to this hem, the less it flips up. What I mean is that when I used a double needle to do the topstitching, it flipped up (which was a mess because it revealed the zigzag thread underneath). The worst trouble I had was when I finished the edge of the garment with a zigzag and turned up a single layer for the hem. There was too much stitching and the hem stretched bigger than the garment. What I found works best is to carefully press up a 1/4 inch hem pressing in the extra fullness and then carefully turning another 1/4 inch and pressing it very well using a clapper. Then I just stitch my two parallel lines which are a scant 1/4-inch apart. Also I wash the "beejayzes" out of the fabric (cotton) in very warm water before I cut it. Boy, I'm long-winded tonight!

Victoria_Miesle's picture

(post #27325, reply #2 of 4)

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The reason shirt tails curl after sewing is because the inside hem is wider than the shirt body you're sewing it to. By 'gathering' the hem using your differntial feed, you are making that hem equal to the garment body, thus reducing the likelyhood of having finished hems curl up. A trick you can use when serging around the bottom of the shirt--if you have differential feed(?)--is to advance your differential feed at the curves to slightly gather them. They will curl up for easy pressing, but that should be it!

Wendy_Parkinson's picture

(post #27325, reply #3 of 4)

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Thankyou Judy and Victoria for your tips.I have had some success using a combination of your suggestions. I gave the original fabric a thorough washing and overlocked the shirt tails using the differential feed on the curvy bits. I then turned up the hem,pressed it with steam and a clapper and machined stitched in place. So far,so good and one happy husband!

thimble_'s picture

(post #27325, reply #4 of 4)

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Dear wendy.....
here is the foolproof method I use, it works every time!!!
run a basting stitch at the hemline, using your machine, I usually use a size 4 stitch, run it a little tight, by increasing the tension. once you have stitched it in you will find that the hem will "flip" easily at the stitchline, flip it up into place and press, basically you are now shrinking the hem to fit the countour of the shirt bottom. Next you can either serge it or press it over double, then stitch down to the shirt permanently, las step....unpick the basting stitch which should be right on the bottom edge of the hem!!!

good luck!