26 October 2012

Friday Feet: Machine Blind Hem

Have I told you lately how much I love my sewing machine feet?  It's kind of like a closet full of shoes.  You wear different ones depending on what you plan to do that day, and it makes the job so much easier.  Of course you could run on the treadmill in high heels and you could go play on the beach in knee high boots, but having the right footwear really does make a difference.  If you do a fair amount of sewing, I would recommend investing in a few of the basic feet.  Today I'm going to share with you one of my absolute favorites.  I probably use it more than my zipper foot or my buttonhole foot: my beloved blindstitch foot.

I use it a lot for edgestitching, but I wanted to show you the intended use today: a machine blind hem.  When would you use this type of hemming?  It works best on a straight hem (a circle skirt or an A-line skirt would be difficult).  Especially when it's a gathered skirt and you don't want to take the time to hand stitch it, but you also don't want the stitches to show.
Start by pressing the hem up 1/2"
Fold again for the completed hem length and press.
Fold the hem back towards the front, leaving 1/4" hanging over the crease and pin in place.
All sewing machines have the blindstitch under the basic stitches, regardless of how fancy your machine is.  It's a solid, basic stitch that looks like this:
Now lets take a look at the blindhem foot.  What makes it different is the guiding bar the goes right down the center like a knife cutting a slice of cake (see how I worked that in there?)  The needle is going to be jumping back and forth over it, taking little bites out of the fabric, so do not adjust the needle position (left or right).
What you can adjust is the stitch width.  The running stitch will be on the inner hem fold on the right.  The little "bites" of the zig zag will jump over the center bar and grab just a tiny bit of fabric from the right side of the hem that runs along the bar.  This should be a small amount that it's biting into.  If you do a sample (which I recommend), make it on the same fabric because a thicker fabric will need a wider length to make sure it grabs enough fabric, while something thin will need a narrower stitch to avoid too much thread showing through on the right side.
You can do this with a regular foot, but it's left up to you where you feed the fabric through instead of guiding it along the plate of the foot.  This is what it will look like when you finish (on the inside of the hem):
Unfold the hem and you can see it a bit better on the wrong side.
Turn over and press the crease out and....what....where are your stitches?  Are you blind?  Sorry, couldn't resist that one.  They should be pretty much invisible, as they ought to.  Look at you now, getting all professional!
Have a wonderful weekend!

ps I don't normally post on weekends, but I'm loving this instagram thing!  (Maybe too much?)

pps it's the last week to put your name in the hat for the Tinkerbell DVD set.


  1. I love my blindstitch foot too!

    I was scared of it at first...and half the time I still can't remember which way to turn my fabric, but I eventually get it.

    And the the hem is just so much prettier.

  2. Thank you for this Katy! I go through this brain blender every time I get out my blind hem foot trying to remember how to get the fold right. Your pictures are great, thank you!

  3. I use my foot all the time for edge stitching etc, but don't that the time to do a blind hem, um ever. You make it look so simple!

  4. This is great! I was always confused about blind hemming but this all totally makes sense! Thank you!

  5. I love having fun feet too! I love that foot. I don't use it often enough though. (but these days I don't sew enough either!:) I have to look at the instructions every time I use it. Thanks to fabulous bernina manuals and class notes. :)

  6. Thank you so much for this. I tried my blind hem foot twice and it didn't work right because I didn't know about folding the hem back. I want to go try it again now.

  7. Hi Katy! I have a quick question, please. Can I still use the blind stitch on my machine even if I don't have the foot attachment? I have a very basic sewing machine that has the very basic stitches and no attachments to speak of.
    I love your blog & thank you for the wonderful info & tutorials! Vohnna

  8. Sorry. Here's my email if u get a chance to reply.

  9. Vohnna--yes! You can, you just have to make sure you keep the hem steady and straight so the needle doesn't catch too much or too little of the fabric when it jumps over.

  10. I am a visual learner, and that was a great visual! Thanks.

  11. Thank you, Katy! I am embarrassed to say I recently spent 2 hours hand-hemming my husband's uniform because I couldn't figure out the blind stitch on my machine! You have saved me from many future hours of hand-sewing, and from ugly hems! Thank you, thank you.

  12. I've always wondered how you do your edge stitching so well. I'll have play with my blind stitch foot to see how to do it.

  13. Great tutorial! I will have to use that foot sometime. So this is kind of a weird question (and maybe I'm folding my fabric completely wrong!) but can you use a blind hem stitch on a pair of rtw pants? The only way I could figure out how to fold the fabric and feed it through my machine would require shoving the entire pair of pants on the sewing machine arm (entirely impossible for a grown person's pants). I've only successfully used the blind stitch on a completely new garment that I've sewn, with the bulk of the garment to the left of the machine. . . .

  14. And here I was doing a search for this very topic. Awesome timing! Thanks :)

  15. o. m. g. WHERE IS THAT FABRIC FROM. I must have it! I know there's a lot of koi fabric out there, but that is just gooooorgeous without all the crap. :D :D :D


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