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Sewing Lesson - Sewing Blind Hems

Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick

To start, place your fabric in the machine so that the pinned edge is on the left side as shown in the photo.

On my machine, when I select the stitch, the needle moves to the leftmost position of the stitch, because this is where it will start stitching. As you can see, when the needle comes down, it will stitch near the folded edge.

How the blind hem works is that it is sewn partially on one side of the fold that you pinned in a previous step (the light orange side) and partially on the other side (the dark orange side). The machine sews straight stitches on the dark orange side and then zigs over to the left and stitches through the pinned in fold (light orange). This single zigzag stitch is what ends up showing on the right side of the garment.

Start sewing very slowly and watch the placement of your fabric under the foot to make sure the straight stitches are on the right side edge and that the zig "bites" into the fold on the left. If the zig misses the fold, widen the stitch; if the zig is making a large stitch, decrease the stitch width.
sewing blind hem

This photo shows what the blind hem looks like after it is sewn, but before it pressed open.

On the left side, I used the machine's default stitch width for the blind hem and it seemed a bit large, so I decreased the stitch width for the second half. As you can see, the zigzag stitch now looks like it is barely catching the bottom fold. This will make for a less visible stitch on the right side (see photo below for comparison) which is the goal. If you use a narrower stitch, however, you need to watch carefully to make sure the zigzag doesn't miss the left fold and leave you with a small gap in the hem.
blind hem stitch

This photo shows how the blind hem should look from the front once the hem is folded back into place and pressed.

When you use a matching thread, the stitches should almost disappear into the fabric (I used a contrasting color thread so that they would be easier to see here). The smaller stitches on the left are the ones sewn with a narrower stitch width and the wider ones on the right are the default width stitches.

As I recommended earlier, it is very helpful to note these kinds of adjustments on your test pieces so that you will be able to quickly adjust your machine and successfully sew your hem. If you sew with different fabric types or weights, be sure to create a test piece for each kind of fabric that you might use a blind hem on.
blind hem stitch

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on sewing blind hems. To learn more about sewing, check out the Learning How to Sew - Sewing Lesson Series

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Sewing Lesson - Introduction to Hems
Sewing Lesson - Basic Folded Hems
Learning How to Sew - Sewing Lessons
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Content copyright © 2015 by Tamara Bostwick. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Tamara Bostwick. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Cheryl Ellex for details.


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