Mar 072013
 

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

I was hemming a slippery polyester chiffon the other night and it occurred to me how much trouble I used to have with this kind of fabric. It is impossible to press any kind of crease so hemming it used to be incredibly difficult and frustrating. Until I figured out this little trick. I use a product called Seams Great which is a very soft and sheer nylon tape. Seams Great does lots of other cool stuff, but I end up using it most often for this hemming trick.

First up, sew the Seams Great to the right side of the fabric at the hem. I use a 3/8″ seam allowance.

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

Side note: Another trick I do, is to put the roll of tape on the knee bar. This way it feeds off easily and I only use exactly what I need and don’t have to measure off an amount before I begin. I also do this for pearl cotton or cording for buttonholes. That knee bar is a wonderful holding place!

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

After sewing all the way around, I trim the seam allowance down to around 1/8″.

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

Now flip it over to the wrong side and pull under to make your hem. Press well. If your fabric does not press, as my lovely polyester chiffon, we can still make it work. You have the Seams Great to hold onto while hemming.

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

After your hem is pressed up (if possible), grab your edgestitch or blind hem foot. If you don’t have one of these feet, don’t worry. We are only going to be stitching in the ditch…you can do this with your regular foot. I just find it so easy with the edgestitch/blind hem foot!

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

blind hem foot–has a blade in the center so your needle stitches directly behind it

Stitch directly in the ditch of where the Seams Great is attached to the hem.

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

As you can see in the above picture, my hem did not lay flat on its own. But I was able to hold it in place to the hem marking I made while stitching in the ditch. This method is far easier than trying to double turn a hem with a slippery, misbehaving fabric!

Lastly, trim close to the stitching.

Lolita Patterns | How to Hem Slippery Fabrics

The fabric won’t fray because the raw edge of the fabric was sewn to the Seams Great and is enclosed in the seam and Seams Great doesn’t fray! This gives a beautiful single stitched finish without the bulk or the hassle of a double fold hem.

What do you think? Will you use this trick the next time you encounter a difficult fabric?

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amity bow | Lolita Patterns

  9 Responses to “How to Hem Slippery Fabrics”

  1. […] Amity from Lolita Patterns shows how to put a hem on a slippery fabric, even the ones that won’t take a crease.  It’s a trick she learned using a soft, sheer nylon seam tape to pull and hold the hem while stitching it down.  Go to her blog to see how she does it. […]

  2. […] Tips on working with slippery fabrics Hemming Tutorial at Lolita Patterns Blog […]

  3. I’ve been sewing off and on for MANY years and never saw this tip. It is awesome. I fought a long battle with some silky fabric for a robe and I thought I would retire from the sewing world. It was a nightmare. I wound up sewing cotton for the trim around neck and front portion. It worked great.

    Your tip is great and you explained it perfectly. Thanks for sharing. (My first, and not last, visit here.)

    Debbie

  4. […] Amity from Lolita Patterns shows how to put a hem on a slippery fabric, even the ones that won’t take a crease.  It’s a trick she learned using a soft, sheer nylon seam tape to pull and hold the hem while stitching it down.  Go to her blog to see how she does it. […]

  5. Wow….
    I have avoided sewing anything with sheer and slippery fabrics and now you make me want to try it. I have to look for this product “Seems Great” first, as I didn’t know this existed. You can tell I don’t sew very much anymore but this is a good tip to know. Thanks so much for sharing.

  6. […] so it would stitch just on the other side of the ditch. You can see a recap of this technique on this post. Then I switched feet to a 1/4″ seam foot sometimes called a quilting foot. I ran the edge of […]

  7. […] most popular posts! Definitely the most pinned of all our tutorials. If you missed the tutorial on how to hem slippery fabrics, you can find it by clicking the link. You can also find any of our previous tutorials by clicking […]

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