Hems · Jersey

Hemming jersey

How do you hem your fine jersey? Why, with a twin needle on a sewing machine or a coverlock machine, of course – I hear you say. This is indeed a common technique and is essentially the same – and it requires you to fold your fabric beneath the surface and to stitch exactly on the edge without seeing the edge. In a word, you need to be psychic.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t see through opaque material and I am too lazy to baste the hems. Oh, but you can also just roughly fold it, stitch on the folded hem and then cut off the excess! – I hear you again. Yeah, and more often than not cut through the main fabric or through the stitches, no thanks! Done that often enough and don’t want to do it again.

Instead, I use a little trick I found in the manual for my Textima Veritas machine. Old manuals not only explain what the knobs do, but also teach you how to sew, and often show what the fancy stitches were meant for. This is particularly useful for utility stitches.

Veritas recommends to hem jersey with stitched zig-zag.

I was a bit dubious at first – you are not finishing the edge this way! But I tried it and it made the neatest hem. It is perfectly secure and is not going to unravel!

This hem is elastic, yet it does not stretch out the jersey. I tried to overlock it first thinking the fabric would unravel, but that made the hem very stretched out. No, keep it plain.

You notice that I’m using the felling foot here. It folds the material once and ensures that the left most stitch falls just outside the folded strip, keeping it very secure.

This makes a very narrow hem, and some jersey tends to curl up. To counteract it, all you need to do is add a line of stitching with some fancy stitch that is not too dense – so no satin embroidery. Here I just used stitched zig-zag again.

Stitch outside the hem, just on the single layer of fabric. If your stitch is not very wide but the fabric has a strong curl, then make two lines of stitching.

This hem lies flat and does not stand out when you wear your shirt tucked into a light skirt or trousers.

2 thoughts on “Hemming jersey

  1. Neat! I never really understood what the stitched zig zag was used for – never use it myself. I must try this. The manual for my Vigorelli amica super practica has lots of ideas of how to use the utility stitches for jersey, I should probably try them out.

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    1. Yes, try them! I wish I had a manual for my Vigorelli Maxi 3000 for the same reason. The tips are invaluable! And of course you can do the same thing in many different ways and also use the same stitch for many tasks. Stitched zig-zag for example is excellent for sewing on elastic, in particular soft wide elastic like you find on lingerie. You can also use it for darning – much better than plain zig-zag. And I find that it is quite decorative, especially with thick thread like woolly nylon or top stitch. I’ve also used it to embroider a wide ribbon – just a solid ribbon, it works great as satin stitch, again much better than plain zig-zag for this purpose.

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