Monthly Archives: March 2013

Hemming Foot

Hemming Foot

When you buy a new sewing machine, you most likely are presented with a variety of feet that do God knows what.  They look weird and difficult and all you want to do is to sit down at your new machine and make something!  So you put in the all-purpose foot and sew away, forgetting that you have all of these possibilities sitting next to you in your sewing box.  Now that you’ve gotten a few projects under your belt it’s time to look back at these weird feet and figure out what they do.  That is exactly where I was awhile ago.  I knew that my sewing machine had come with a hemming foot, but I had never used it and had no idea how.  But, at the same time I was presented with curtains.  Thin gossamer-like curtains that were too long and dragging the ground.  I began doing the project by hand, ie folding the material up once, then again.  Lets just say that that idea came with frustratingly slow results so I decided to bite the bullet and learn how to use this twisted piece of metal that came with my machine.

Here’s what it looks like.Foot 1 foot 2  See what I mean, it looks intimidating and difficult.

So here’s how this works…stay with me here.

This is what I started with. Beginning piece sm  Just a scrap of fabric that had a selvage hem on one side and a raw edge on the other.

Step 1:

Either backstitch or, if you have a knotting feature on your machine use that, to create a knot at the beginning of the fabric.

Settings sm On my machine the knotting feature is the “bullseye”.

After you have created a knot, lift the presser foot and remove the material from the machine, letting about 4″ or so of thread come out before you cut.  This “tail” is very important because it allows you to pull the material through the machine because it’s going to be difficult.

Pulling the thread sm

Remember…fabric can really be a jerk sometimes, and so can your machine.  Remember this, it is very important!

Step 2:

Here’s where it can get difficult.  You need to use the thread to pull the material through the rolling portion of the foot.  The material should wrap around the twist in the foot.  Once the material is at the point where the needle should begin at the start of the fabric, put down the presser foot and take a breath.

beginning rolled hem sm beginning the stitch sm

Step 3:

Use your left hand grasp the thread and pull the material while you use your right hand to guide the material through.  Go slowly, this can get away from you a lot faster than you may think. As the material moves through the foot, the rolling portion folds the material under so that you get a perfect shirttail hem.  Continue this until you have gone the full length of the fabric.

pulling the material through sm  correct sm Here’s what it should look like when you’re done.

Tips and Tricks

+ If your fabric looks like this…you have folded over the fabric too far  Too much smtoo much (2) sm

+ If it looks like this, there is to little folded over. too little smtoo little (2) sm  You can see that the material has not been folded over.

In the end, although this can take some getting used to, it really does create a very professional looking product, and is well worth the amount of time it takes to learn how to use.  Do you have a foot on your machine that you’re struggling with?  If so let me know (because I probably am too) and we can learn it together!  Keep Crafting!