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blind stitch hem

michellec's picture

i have not had success with my blind stitch hem.  Can someone explain how to get nice stitching!


 

jjgg's picture

(post #25160, reply #1 of 60)

Do it by hand, you will get a much nicer finish. To me there is nothing that screams "Home Made" more than the blind hem on the home sewing machine. I don't even like the looks of the commercial blind hemmer machines.


Edited 12/2/2007 2:03 am ET by jjgg

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #5 of 60)

This damned blind hemming is driving me up the wall.


Bought hemming foot thinking that may help: NO.


 I just cannot get the bite on the right side 'invisible'.


I have followed what the Serger Secrets recommends, but cunningly, the book doesn't show the right side of the finished hem.


Please help (yes I am feeling desperate)


Edited 6/24/2008 11:25 am ET by rekha

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #6 of 60)

Ok Rekha, take a deep breath first, then scream. :)  feel better? 


Now there are a few things about the blind hemmer you need to know-


1.  It will never ever be as invisible as hand work as it can never bite as finely as the human hand can with a needle and thread.


2. see number 1 above.


That being clear now, there are a few things that you might try to make the job easier and more professional looking.


Use a longer stitch length.  You need the longer threads on the wrong side to tension the stitch on the right side so it can bury itself in the fabric after pressing.


Don't bunch up the fabric against the foot as you are feeding it through the machine.  It causes the needle to take a bigger bite than you intend.  Let the feed dogs and foot do the work.


Basting the hem in place sounds redundant, but it frees your hands for smoothly guiding the fabric under the foot without having to stop and start so often.


Steam the area you have stitched rather than pressing it hard.  It will fluff up the fabric around the stitches and bury them in the fabric better.  Also, gently, really gently giving a bit of a pull along the stitched area of the hem will help bury the stitches in the fabric.


Always practise on a swatch to get the best you can before doing the hem on your garment.  You would be surprised at how long of a stitch lenghth you may have to set your machine for.  Most commercial garments only hem one layer of fabric, we tend to hem two, and it does take up a lot more of the thread that was designed as give in the stitch. 


Hope some of this helps.  The other posters have covered stuff that I agree with and would have told you as well.  Cathy

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #7 of 60)

the longer threads on the wrong side to tension the stitch on the right side so it can bury itself in the fabric after pressing.


You are fun to communicate with.


I did use the longest stitch to reduce the frequency of stitches on the fabric, but didn't realise a more effective way you mention above.


I think the book Serger Secrets advises you to iron the folded bit and that is what took up more of the fabric than should have


Finally, I am a bit confused about your suggestion Steam the area rather than pressing it hard. Either cause the fabric to shrink, including the thread.


Can you iron over invisible thread?

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #8 of 60)

Steam the area rather than pressing it hard. Either cause the fabric to shrink, including the thread.


Yes, you want the thread and the fabric to shrink into each other.  If you press the fabric, you flatten the thread on top of the fabric.  Steam the fabric with the iron first then press lightly.  I should have been more clear.  Sorry, not enough coffee yet this am.


Can you iron over invisible thread?  Yes, but be careful as it is nylon usually, and has a lower melting point. Use a silk setting, rather than cotton or wool.   I don't like it, personal preference, I like to use regular thread that is a good match to the fabric or a touch darker.  Darker colours recede into the fabric and are not as noticeable.  This may also be part of what is making your stitches show.  


I also wouldn't press the fold to hem.  Too much bite, you are correct on that.  That is why I just baste, then fold back along the basting.   Cathy


Edited 6/16/2008 8:54 am ET by ThreadKoe

denise's picture

(post #25160, reply #58 of 60)

THANKYOU cathy   hints left for others  often help other people like me thankyou .

denise

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #60 of 60)

You are most welcome. I am glad to have been helpful. Cathy

Pattiann42's picture

(post #25160, reply #9 of 60)

You know what?  I feel the same way and went back to using the sewing machine.


I got a DVD with my serger and the demonstrator did quick close up.  She was using knit fabric and same color thread (don't they usually use a contrasting thread when doing a demo) that may be the reason the stitches did not show up on camera.


I did have better luck basting the hem in place before doing the blind stitch on the serger.  The sewing machine is not as aggressive and pins work for me.


 


 


I strive to learn something new each day.

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #10 of 60)

better luck basting the hem ...before the blind stitch on the serger


So most sewers are advising. Is this machine or hand sewn basting. How close to the fold will that be?


Edited 6/16/2008 2:07 pm ET by rekha

Pattiann42's picture

(post #25160, reply #11 of 60)

Hand or machine - does not matter.  Leave enough so the raw edge will snug up to the knives - 1/2" or so from the fold.   This can vary depending on the thickness of the fabric.


Test on scraps of the same fabric as you are going to hem.


 


 


 


I strive to learn something new each day.

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #26 of 60)

After finishing one project I thought I would practice with the blind hem.


Theoretically it sounded good as described by Carol Ahles in Fine Machine Sewing for making an in the air hem.


But the threads are getting bunched, the pins keep stopping the foot from clearing them.


So I decided to sew a straight hem 1/16" from the edge so that I could do without pins but the thread is still bunching on the bobbin side.


I have checked the tensions; they are fine.


Any ideas?


 

sewelegant's picture

(post #25160, reply #27 of 60)

I have been blind hemming this way for several years now, mainly because I did not like the way my Bernina 1630 did the regular blind hem.  Actually I figured this out before buying that book by Carol Ahles so it did my heart good to read it in her book.  She did mention that some machines do not like sewing "on air" and maybe yours is one of them.  I did learn a little something from reading her version of doing this... I will now make sure I leave just enough turned up hem showing so as not to have skipped stitching.

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #28 of 60)

I thought I will use the pink cones I will probably never use again, because the cost of thread is such these days I wanted save my Guttermann threads.


Deelybob make a big song and dance about using cones on them to use on the sewing machines.


I think the thread wasn't being released properly with that arrangement.


When I switched to the proper spools for the machine, it worked like a charm.


I think blind hemming 'in the air' is an exquisite method.


This method only worked for me when I first sewed a 1/16" hem instead of using pins (they come in the way).


I am rather pleased with myself (no, I am not being arrogant - I had wanted to do it for years). Hee hee

moira's picture

(post #25160, reply #29 of 60)

Rehka, I'm curious to know what an 'in the air' hem is. Can you enlighten me?

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #30 of 60)

In a 'normal' blind hem stitch the edge of the fabric shows stitches because you give 1/8" to 1/4" allowance.


In in the air you leave no more than 6mm (1/16") for the edge and when you sew the straight stitches don't see the fabric.


I have scanned the relevant photo from Ahles' book. The edge in question is on the right side (over the pins)

PreviewAttachmentSize
blind_hem_.jpg
blind_hem_.jpg52.13 KB
ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #31 of 60)

Rekha, just to make sure I understand you, the v part of the stitch is on the edge of the fabric, biting into the fold of the face fabric, but the straight stitches are actually off the edge of the hem fabric? So only the V is holding the hem up. Cathy

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #32 of 60)

Quite so.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #33 of 60)

Thank you. Just wanted to make sure I understood completely. Somedays the brain is thicker than others. Cathy

DONNAKAYE's picture

(post #25160, reply #34 of 60)

Cathy, I've been using this technique for a while and love it.

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #42 of 60)

I have had a little time to take photos of steps involved in making the 'in the air' hem.


The titles and photos are self-explanatory


You will notice that you can see the hem on  the right side only on considerable magnification.


** Read hem for pintuck


 


 


Edited 7/25/2008 9:14 am ET by rekha

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #44 of 60)

Rekha, thank you very much for taking the time to demonstrate and taking those very good pictures to post. I appreciate it very much. Sometimes a picture IS worth a thousand words! Cathy

rekha's picture

(post #25160, reply #46 of 60)

Thank you all for nudging me when I went berserk not being able to work the technique.


I though this will register with those who are about to embark on this exquisite technique

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #49 of 60)

I really like this way of machine hemming, because it solves the problem I had with the regular way. It left too much fabric above the stitching on the hem on the inside that tended to catch on things and pull. This would be much flatter on the edge, and less likely to catch. Cathy

DONNAKAYE's picture

(post #25160, reply #45 of 60)

Thanks for the photos.  This is a lovely technique.  I used to use it a lot some years back but for some reason have "strayed."  I'm going to start using it again.  What I really like about it is that it binds the raw edge into the stitches at the same time as the hem is sewn and really saves time.  Thanks for reminding me of this lost treasure....d.

JanF's picture

(post #25160, reply #50 of 60)

Surely "in the air" is a misnomer?
As I can see it you are all just talking about blind hemming using the sewing machine attachment - surely no-one thinks anymore than the v should be stitched into the actual face of the fabric? I know sometimes - depending on how rushed you are - it can be easy to miss the edge with the straight stitching on. I usually overlock (sorry serge) most hem edges first - then press seam up and if I am feeling virtuous - I tack up the hem too. Alright I admit I don't do that too often.
Unless the fabric is stretch(inwhich case I now use a coverstitch for the hem) I find it usually is ok to stitch without pins in too, or I put the pins closer to the fold of the hem so that the prsser foot fully clears them.
I cannot imagine where the term "in the air" came from.Am i missing something?

moira's picture

(post #25160, reply #51 of 60)

'surely no-one thinks anymore than the v should be stitched into the actual face of the fabric?'

I know that the v-stitch should only pick up a thread of the face fabric, but are you just saying it shouldn't go right through? Or are you saying something else?!

It does sound as though this is simply machine blind hemming but right on the edge, rather than maybe half a cm away. Like you, I overlock most of my hem edges before hemming and rarely double-fold, unless it's jeans.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #25160, reply #53 of 60)

I have not sampled this technique for my sample book yet, however, by serging the edge, or coverstitching, I can imagine how light and flexible this hem would be. Cathy

JanF's picture

(post #25160, reply #55 of 60)

no Moira - I definitely am saying only the v catches the fabric - but I never realised anyone used a blind hemmer with the straight stitch part of the action actually "in the air" - I am going to try it - but I remain to be convinced its a good way of using the blind hemmer - lots of loose thread inside to catch on my heel!!

sewelegant's picture

(post #25160, reply #52 of 60)

The "in the air" refers to the straight stitching being done off the fabric.  The V comes over and catches both the turned up hem and the body of the garment.  It might look like the stitching is going along as usual in the pictures but in reality that straight stitching should not be on the turned up hem at all.  Try it to see how it works.

JanF's picture

(post #25160, reply #54 of 60)

Crikey - can't imagine this being stable enough - but after saying this - Ive never tried this - so I will have a go!