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Sewing Lesson - How to Sew a Blind Hem

For many sewn projects and garments, a basic folded hem sewn by machine serves well and looks fine, but for garments that are more formal or tailored, a blind stitch hem is less visible and looks more professional. Blind hems are frequently used on ready-to-wear slacks and dresses. Fortunately, a blind hem can be sewn quickly and easily by machine with a little preparation and practice.

Some sewing machines have a special presser foot just for sewing blind hems, but I don't find it necessary and I often sew my blind hems with a regular presser foot. In the tutorial below, I will show you the steps for sewing a perfect blind hem.

If you are new to blind hemming, I would recommend cutting some six inch square pieces of fabric for practicing on before trying the technique out on a garment. Afterward, take the best example and note what stitch width you used or any other adjustments you made. If you have a stitch sampler/techniques book, you can place it in there so that you can easily refer back to it the next time you want to sew a blind hem.

To sew a blind hem, first press the fabric toward the wrong side at the finished hem line as indicated by your pattern. Then, unfold the hem and press another fold 1/4 - 3/8 inch from the raw edge of the fabric. Fold the hem back over and press both creases in firmly with your iron.

In the photo, I have unfolded the hem so that you can see both of the crease lines I have pressed into the fabric.
press blind hem

The next step is to fold the hem edge back in preparation for the blind hem stitching.

Hold your fabric so that the finished hem edge is at the top and the wrong side of the fabric is facing you.

Fold the top edge backward and down behind the fabric so that the second fold that you pressed is exposed by 1/8 of an inch.

Pin in place as shown in the photo.
fold blind hem

Now, you will need to find and select the blind hem stitch on your particular machine.

Look for a stitch that looks like a combination of straight stitching and zig zag stitching (it should be similar to that shown in the photo) and select it. Use the default stitch settings for now.
sewing a machine blind hem

Click for part two of How to Sew a Blind Hem

Here are some sewing tools that can help you make beautiful, straight hems

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