Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Hemmer Foot Experience

Do you ever need to give yourself a BIG, visible reminder?

Today was time for tiers, and luckily no tears were involved. I wanted to share my technique for hemming what was basically the equivalent of sewing on kleenex. Organza or chiffon, a fabric of any other name would still be as frustrating (with apologies to Shakespeare).

I'm using my hemmer foot, and, while I've used it before, I wanted a refresher so I watched a couple of videos. First up, Bernina has great videos for all there presser feet, and this one was helpful. No search for "how to" videos is done without a stop at You Tube.

I really loved how she ran out of bobbin thread at the end. Don't you just hate that?!

OK, here we go...First, I practiced on scraps, but not too many because I just wanted to get on with it. In the process of sewing the side seams (I used a French seam, and now wish I had done it narrower... too late), and the staystitching, and perhaps just in the cutting process itself, I discovered the bottom was completely uneven. So, I folded it in quarters, made the raw edges at the top even, pinned and checked.
This one isn't too bad, so I left it alone. Several were way off, and I just took the rotary cutter, and carefully evened it up, without obsessing. Then I sprayed the bottom edge pretty liberally with starch, let it soak in a minute, and then pressed. I had pre-washed the fabric, so it's pretty soft and drapey now and the starch gave me just a teeny bit more control of the edge. Then it was time. How about an action shot?
I got better with each one, or at least knew what to expect. It was best to start in the middle where it was on the straight grain. I just folded it over twice, plopped the foot down, and took several stitches. Slowly. As I approached the bias edge, I held a single fold and eased it into the spiral on the foot. That went pretty well. Not surprisingly, it was easiest to feed and maintain when I was at the bias places, and hardest as it went from bias to straight and back again. And those silly seams, you're wondering? Well, I took Claire Kennedy's advice from the video and stopped about an inch before the seam, needle in, pulled the hem from the foot and continued manually until I was just past the seam. Then I just eased it back in like I did at the start.

These examples are from the same hem, just different areas. I didn't do any ripping out or stressing, but just let it all go. I can be a perfectionist, but this time ok is good enough. I did trim off any odd bits like you can see in the not so good example. Once pressed, it looked even better.

I did get even further, attaching two tiers to the inner skirt, but this post is getting kind of long so I think I'll keep y'all in suspense...


  1. Thanks so much for this great post. I have got some beautiful silk chiffon in my stash and when I work up enough courage to sew it I'm definitely going to refer back to your advice here.

  2. Starching before hemming - that sounds like a good idea. I am going to give it a try since using the hemming foot can be so tricky.

  3. Easily Boost Your ClickBank Traffic And Commissions

    Bannerizer made it easy for you to promote ClickBank products using banners, simply visit Bannerizer, and grab the banner codes for your favorite ClickBank products or use the Universal ClickBank Banner Rotator to promote all of the ClickBank products.



Related Posts with Thumbnails