Saturday, February 28, 2015

How to Hem Any Knit - Fold, Sew, Trim

Everyone wears knits, and they are never the right length.  You can easily hem them so they look finished just the way they were in the store.  This could be the bottom of a t-shirt, the bottom of yoga pants or even a slip.  It doesn't matter what the knit garment is that needs hemming, this is how you do it.  So let's pretend this pink fabric is the bottom of a pair of yoga pants. (You can click on the pictures to enlarge them.)

1.  Fold the pants up to the inside to the length you want them.  You can fold up 2" or 12" it doesn't matter.  Just fold them to the length you want them and pin in place.

2.  Set your machine up with a stretch twin needle and you're regular everyday presser foot (not a pintuck foot).  We use the 4.0/75  stretch twin needle, it's the right distance (4.0) between the needles to match the store stitching.  It is also made ballpoint needles suitable for knit fabrics.  Match the thread to your fabric in colour and content.  (If you've never used a twin needle before follow the instructions for your machine on how to thread for twin needles.)  If you are interested in the fancy needles there is a book called Modern Machine Techniques - it has techniques for twin, wing, triple and double wing needles.

3.  Test your stitch length on some of the hem that you turned up that will eventually will be cut off.  You will be sewing with a straight stitch with a length of about 3.0.  When you like the look of the stitch give the area with the test stitching a tug, to make sure the thread gives with the fabric and doesn't break.  Adjust your stitch length if you need to.

4.  On the right side, starting stitching at the inside seam,  3/4" up from the bottom. Stitch all the way around and when you meet up to where you started, back stitch and clip your threads.

5.  Once you've done both legs turn the pants inside out.  Carefully trim away the excess fabric above the stitching line.  We are using blunt tipped Gingher Pocket scissors - these are the best scissors ever because the tips don't get caught on the fabric you are trimming away and they trim very close.  The underside will look like a zig-zag stitch.

 This is how it will look from the right side.

The Ultimate Knit Needle Pack has a variety of Jersey Needles, Stretch, Microtex and this Stretch Twin Needle.

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