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.
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!
After sewing all the way around, I trim the seam allowance down to around 1/8″.
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.
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!
Stitch directly in the ditch of where the Seams Great is attached to the hem.
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.
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?
Don’t forget, the parade of Fuchsia’s is next week! Send us pictures of your finished Fuchsia so we can feature you! Still need to get your free Fuchsia? You can download it from the shop for free!
Not quite finished with your Fuchsia yet? You can find all the detailed sew-along posts here!