Tutorial: How to sew a blind hem
Blind hems are fantastic. Using an ingenious method of folding and stitching, you can create a machine stitched hem that is nearly invisible from the outside. It’s a fantastic way to create a deep hem on a skirt, unlined jacket, or pants.
I used to find them to be a bit of a pain, but honestly my Bernina and it’s wonderful blind hem presser foot have banished all my frustrations. If you have trouble with your hems, you might consider trying another foot, if your machine accepts them. It could make all the difference.
Also, make sure you have enough seam allowance for a fairly deep hem. I like to make mine at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Add an extra inch to that. So if you had a skirt that you wanted to be 25″ long with a 2 inch hem, you’d make sure the skirt was at least 28″ long before hemming.
Ok, let’s get started!
- Marking pen, pencil, or chalk
- Blind hem presser foot
1) First, figure out exactly where you want your hem to fall, and mark that line in water soluble pen, pencil, or chalk on the right side of the garment. That would be the middle line here, shown in yellow.
2) Mark two more lines, one above and below your hem line. They should be of equal distance to the hemline, however deep you want your hem to be. So for a 2″ hem, you’d draw a line 2 inches above (the white line) and a line 2 inches below (the pink line).
3) If necessary, trim the raw edge of the hem so it is only about 1 inch below the bottom (pink) line.
4) Turn the raw edge under and press. The fold should be 1/2 inch from the bottom (pink) line. Basically, you’re folding it in half so that the raw edge on the inside hits right at the pink line.
Here’s how it will look after you press it.
5) Now, pinch along the middle (yellow) line to fold.
6) Fold along this line, matching up the top (white) line with the bottom (pink) line as you fold.
7) Pin the fold in place. Here you can see that the middle (yellow) line is now at the bottom of the hem.
8) Fold again. Fold upward along the top (white) line this time.
9) Pin in place again. You can just remove the existing pins and repin at this point.
Here’s how it will look on the inside.
10) Lightly press the folds. Once you’ve pressed them in place, you can remove the pins if you like.
11) Again, here’s how it will look once pressed.
12) Put the blind hem presser foot on your sewing machine. This is what the foot looks like.
13) Set your machine to the blind hem stitch. You can see what it looks like here. You can set the stitch width wider or shorter depending on how wide you want it, but mine was set to 3.5 here.
14) With the wrong side up, lower the presser foot onto the hem. The vertical plate should sit right along the fold. As the machine stitches, it will stitch across that plate every few stitches, taking a tiny bite out of the fold. Stitch slowly, making sure to keep the fold right up against the plate.
Here’s how it will look once it’s stitched!
15) Look at the stitches carefully at this point. Occasionally, your machine may have missed the fold while stitching. You may need to go back and restitch over parts if this happens. This is the part that used to frustrate me, but with a higher quality foot, this never seems to happen anymore.
16) Remove the pins if you haven’t already and let the hem come down.
17) Finally, give the hem a press. You’ll often get a little crease where the hem was previously pressed. Use a little spray of water to help remove the crease as you press. If it’s still there after pressing, don’t worry too much. It will probably come out with washing.
And that’s it! A lovely blind hem, all done by machine. Does this make sense to you?