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Perfect Hems Every Time!

Hemming the knit garments we sew can often be a frustrating experience. Wavy, stretched-out, lumpy and uneven hems are all too common.

Here's an easy way to get great looking hems on knit garments by using any of the various brands of clear "water soluble" embroidery stabilizers...such as the brand-name product, "Solvy" (available at chain fabric stores).

As pictured, first cut about a 10-inch length of the stabilizer. Then roll it up into a tube. Next, as shown below, cut off a "slice" of the tube the depth of the hem. I usually cut several 1" "slices", as that is the hem depth I use on most knit garments.

Now you have several nice uniform strips of stabilizer ready to FUSE your hem.


Yes, that's right, you will be using the stabilizer to temporarily "fuse" the hem into place before stitching.

Just as you would use regular fusible web to permanently fuse a hem, place your strip of "temporary fuse" between the hem allowance and the garment ("inside" the hem). Then thoroughly steam-press the hem. This melts the water-soluble stabilizer strip, temporarily holding the hem in place while also making the hem area firm and completely stable, ready to be stitched.

Now stitch your totally stabilized hem. A twin-needle hem works especially well, because the hem area is so stable that the stitches will not "tunnel".

Once your hem is stitched, the stabilizer is easily and completely removed from the garment by a quick trip through the rinse cycle of the washing machine. After drying, your hem will be soft, flexible, and beautiful...with NO puckers or waves!


What do you think? Please add a comment by clicking here-->


Blogger BCN - UNIQUE designer patterns said...

Pamela .- I have never used this product, but it seems the ultimate solution for hems. I, if I hemmed with double needle, I use a adhesive tape that guides me and after retirement.

Thanks for showing this product is really interesting.

greetings, Paco

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a perfect idea! Thanks Pam.

4:09 PM  
Blogger DanainDFW said...

Ingenious! I've used Solvy a lot for machine embroidery, but never for this. Thanks for the tip.

Happy 2009

8:17 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

What a great idea, thanks for sharing. I will have to add Solvy to my shopping list, I just ran out on my last embroidery.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

What a good idea! I've used fusibles to baste a hem up, but never one that would 'disappear' with washing. I really like that idea!

11:34 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Pam you rock! I have a few things I need to work on for my boys and hopefully this will end the "tunnel" effect I get a lot of the times.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

I've used this in knit hems before, but haven't tried fusing it--seems much easier than trying to keep the strip sandwiched between the layers. Thanks for a great tip!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this helpful information! I used Solvy recently to help feed a thick coat through while making buttonholes! Worked like a charm!

10:27 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Thanks! I must try this out.

3:30 AM  
Blogger Dr. Bennett said...

Okay. You just got a new fan! You have a great blog. I'll reference it on mine.
Cindy Lou

8:09 AM  
Blogger Dr. Bennett said...

You have a new fan! Great tip. I'll bookmark your site!

8:10 AM  
Blogger Meg said...

Love this tip! I'll be buying Solvy the next time I'm at JoAnn's.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Pam, what a great tip!
thanks for stopping by my blog too. =)

5:27 PM  
Blogger Dr. Bennett said...

Pam, your blog is so great, it earned you a Blog Award at my site. See my Jan 6 entry for more details. Please, keep the excellent tips coming! :)

8:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I think I'm in love... What a brilliant idea!

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! What a terrific idea! I have this stabilizer as it works great on the embroidered towels I make - can't wait to try it on the linen blouse I'm making.

8:44 AM  
Blogger flynn37 said...

I didn't find this to work at all! My Solvy just got very crispy, it really didn't "fuse" or stick to the fabric. Am I missing something?

11:29 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi flynn37...gosh, sorry it didn't work for you...has been working for me for years. I first published this method over 6 years ago as an article for an online sewing magazine.

Perhaps if you lightly spray the hem with water just before you fuse it....the key is to get enough steam through the layers to melt the solvy.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using the stabilizer IS a very good idea, thanks for sharing it. As for using the twin needle, that does look good on the front side, it looks like a cover stitch would but it is NOT stretchy. I have heard people saying that it IS stretchy because of the back looking like a zigzag stitch ... well, it looks similar to one but it isn't, it interlocks with the two rows of straight stitches on the top and those do not stretch. So, it might be good to mention that if much stretch is needed then the twin needle stitching won't be adequate. It'll look good but it won't stretch.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Patricia and thanks for your comment. Now about twin needle hems...
Ann Steeves of Gorgeous Fabrics did s video demonstrating that twin-needle hems do have stretch.

you can find that video here--

10:31 AM  

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