When you make a new dress for one of your dolls you want it to be beautiful, every detail perfect. One of the most important details to remember is a neat hem that looks professionally done. There is no better way to achieve that than by putting hand sewn hems on your creations.
Most of the dresses that I make for dolls require a small hem of no more than a quarter of an inch in width, but the technique is the same, no matter what width hem you need to make.
The technique is not difficult, but takes a little practice.
To begin, at the starting point of the hem, fold the bottom edge of the fabric up to the wrong side, 1/4 inch. I usually like to start hemming at the center back, but where ever you prefer to start is fine. If you are unsure of making the hem an even width, work with a ruler or tape measure.
Continue to turn the edge up 1/4 inch around the bottom of the skirt. You can press the fold with the tip of your iron, or press it with your thumb nail as you go.
When you have the first fold done, repeat the process so that you have a neat fold at the top and bottom of the 1/4 inch hem width. It is a good idea to hold the folds in place with pins or basting stitches as you go around the hem this second time.
Now it's time to finally stitch the hem in place. When I was in sixth and seventh grade my Home Economics teacher taught us how to hem stitch in sewing class and I've never forgotten the lesson, I follow her method to this day. When you start your thread, tuck the knot behind the seam allowance, take a small stitch through the top of the hem, no more than 2 or three threads below the fold. Then take a stitch into the skirt just above the hem and only through one or two threads of the skirt fabric. It might seem that only one thread isn't enough to hold the hem, but I have never had a hand stitched hem come out. And, because you have only put the needle and thread through one or two threads, the hem stitches are nearly impossible to see on the finished dress. Be sure that your tiny stitches are quite close together, no more than 1/4 inch apart.
Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls
Ebook with patterns and instructions to make 5 cloth dolls as well as chapters on general doll making techniques.The book includes 21 inch Lalena Doll, 21 inch David Doll, Bear Dolls, 9 inch Destiny Doll and 15 inch Annie Doll, all together in one handy book. 53 pages.Making and Dressing Cloth Dolls.