Have you had a good look at your feet lately?
I’m talking sewing machine feet, of course. Most machines come with quite a few feet. Even if your machine is very basic and did not come with a hemmer foot, there are lots of options for purchasing machine feet for your sewing machine model. Just google your sewing machine model and “sewing machine feet.”
Have you ever used your hemmer feet? They come in three sizes, 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4. I have a hemmer foot or two, with all of my machines, I just never used them.
Instead, I would toil over the ironing surface measuring and pressing. I tried the stitch a quarter inch seam and then press it under method of hemming, and I even learned to make a mitered edge hem. If you have a serger, you can make many nice hems, but what happens when you need to hem a school bus yellow table runner?
When you first start using a hemmer foot it can be frustrating to get the fabric to feed through the foot correctly. Don't give up! Once you have the fabric in the foot the correct way, the machine and foot do all the work. As with any skill, the more you practice, the better you will get and the easier the skill will become. I like to practice with the hemming feet when I need to wind bobbins on my industrial straight stitch machine, great multi-tasking opportunity!
I first decided to get my hemmer foot out and put it to use when I was looking for a way to make my own product labels. I came across a blog post describing a process of having fabric printed with your logo and care instructions and then hemming the cut edges to make your labels.
Since that time, I have found so may other uses for the foot and am so happy it took the time to become familiar with using it, I am sure you will too, so go dig out your hemmer foot put it to use.
Starting is the hardest part. I have seen a few different methods. The key is to get the fabric turning back under itself as the fabric is pulled through the foot. I had always pushed the fabric through the foot from the front, using my stiletto to help guide the fabric into the foot. Do not do this. Trust me.
To use the hemmer foot, start with your fabric right side down on the machine bed. Next line your fabric up under the presser foot and sew several stitches, hold onto the needle and bobbin threads as you start to sew. After stitching, raise your needle and your presser foot. Use the needle and bobbin threads to pull the fabric into the hemmer foot. I pull forward and backward using both the fabric at the front and the threads at the back, to work the fabric into the foot.
Another technique that is also very effective is to finger press your hem before you begin to sew. Starting with the fabric right side down on your machine bed, finger press the fabric over twice to create the same width hem you want to sew. Move the finger pressed fabric under the needle, lower the presser foot and needle and sew several stitches. Next raise the presser foot, but leave the needle down in the fabric. Work the fabric into the foot, working from the back of the foot. Once you get the fabric in the foot, lower the presser foot and continue sewing. This method works great for corners and hemming finished garment edges.
As you sew the hem, take care to keep the raw edge of the fabric in line with the edge of the foot. When I use the hemmer foot, I hold the fabric up at a slight angle as I feed it into the foot. I find that this keeps the fabric aligned in the foot to create a nice hem.
Although I have included a few photos of my own, I found the tutorial video on the Youtube channel, The colorful world of sewing, incredibly helpful. The video is titled, "How to sew a rolled hem with the narrow hemmer foot.” The video is very clear and the instruction is easy to understand. If you are a visual learner this is all you will need. I have included a link to the video here.
Once you master this foot, and I promise it will not take long, you are going to love hemming edges! Run out and pick up a pretty new fabric and make some napkins and a new table cloth for Easter! It is seriously so easy.