Straight of Grain
For a nice straight hem, it is important to find the straight of grain.
- Snip the selvage.
- Find a thread and pull it all the way across. Takes a bit of time, but worth it.
Cutting Chiffon and others
- Place tissue pattern paper under the fabric. Pin or place weights. Cut through the pattern paper and the fabric. Cuts very straight! (recycle those old unwanted tissue patterns - perfect to use).
- Cut as a single fabric.
Starting the rolled hemmer is the important step to a straight hem.
- Fold edge of fabric about 1/8" (a distance of only about 2 inches from edge). Finger crease.
- Lower your foot, having the needle enter near the edge of fabric. Take a couple of stitches.
- Raise the foot. Pull the back threads with left hand, and wiggle the hem into the hemmer scroll. A little jiggling will get it in properly. You will know it is in the scroll when you can't move the foot backwards any more.
- Lower the foot and begin sewing, keeping the back threads and fabric a little taunt. It is important to keep the mouth of the hemmer full of fabric for an even hem.
But it then goes off track!
- Stop. Raise the foot. Jiggle it again as you did at the beginning. You will feel it insert back into the fabric. Lower the foot and continue sewing.
After practice, you will feel very comfortable adding lace while hemming. See that slot in the hemmer? Slide the lace or trim in that slot. I do have nice instructions in my book, The Sewing Machine Attachment Handbook, page 62 - 65.
Another hemming option for sheers is to make a lettuce hem. No worry about keeping it all straight and it is lovely.
Use a small hole needle plate so the fabric doesn't get pushed into the hole. If you don't have a small hole, put some tape over the hole. Lower the needle several times (no thread) to make a hole in the tape. Works in a pinch!
I like to use very sharp needles size 60/8 to 70/10. I also use the Microtex needle as made for sheers. Change your needle at the start of each sewing project!
Play around with some scraps and get comfortable working with this fabric. Share other tips you have. Love to hear them.