Skill Level: Intermediate
Pros: Can Be Decorative, Entirely Machined, Relatively Quick, Very Neat, Will Not Fray, Works Well on Curves
Cons: Can Be Tricky, May Affect Drape of Garment, Might Be Visible, Requires Additional Supplies, You Must Be Able to Sew Quite Straight
Best For: Adds Bulk, Curved Hems, Narrow Hems, Reinforced Edges, Thinner Fabric
This is fast way to make a fully finished hem, using commercial Double Fold Bias Tape.
Width:1/8″-2″, determined by size of Bias Tape
Seam Allowance Required: 0″
Additional Supplies Needed: Double Fold Bias Tape
Prepare your hem by cutting off the seam allowance.
If you look very closely at the foot of my sewing machine, you’ll see there’s a little triangle. I’m lining the left corner of the triangle up with the edge of the bias tape, and that helps me sew nice and straight. Most likely, your sewing machine also has “landmarks” on the foot to help you. (Never try to watch the needle when you sew. Your eyes will cross every time.)
If you’re not terribly confident in your ability to sew, or you know you have a terrible time catching both sides of the bias tape, you improve your chances of success greatly by setting your machine to a narrow zig-zag stitch. It will look exactly like what it is, but it will also get done on the first pass and done is beautiful. ;)
This looks like it should be about the easiest thing in the world, right? Unfortunately, it relies on being able to sew pretty darn precisely, and that’s a skill that can take some time to master. If you’ve never done this before, I’d recommend starting with a slightly wider bias tape (at least 1/2″) so that your work is firmly caught by the feed dogs (the upsie-downsie-grippy bits that move the fabric when you sew) of the machine on both sides. When only one side catches, fabric tends to feed all wonky. Above all, go slowly and stay calm…