Working with knit can be hard. It can stretch and ripple when sewing. That can especially make it hard when it comes to hemming. It would be devastating to finish a garment, then go to hem and then you get ripples. I have 2 easy hacks for you. While a serger isn’t necessary, it certainly makes it easier and faster.
Hack #1~ Faux Hem Band
I love adding bands because they are easy and eliminate hemming. Are you catching on to the fact that I don’t like to hem? I even made an entire post about adding bands instead of hemming here. Well this takes easy to an entirely different level. Now you don’t even have to cut bands!
Here I am working on sleeves. I want a 1/2″ cuff and I will be stitching with a 1/4″ seam allowance, so I am marking 3/4″ from the raw edge. Note: depending on your pattern and the seam allowance in the pattern, you may need to add length while cutting.
Now fold your hem wrong sides together and press.
Keeping the original fold wrong sides together, fold it back another 3/4″ right sides together. My original fold line is now at the top. You will now stitch the edge all around at 1/4″. If using your serger, stitch with the fabric against the blade but not cutting any off.
Fold the seam allowance up and the cuff down and press.
Voila! Pretty faux hem bands!
Hack #2~ Circle Skirts Made Easy
The nice thing about circle skirts is that they are already easy. You don’t have to gather or pleat to get them to fit your bodice, they are made to be the same width. The hems though can be pesky. I have seen tips that state to sew a basting stitch at the desired hem allowance and use that as a guide to fold, but that still leaves you with too much fabric on the raw edge when you press it up and you also have to go back and remove the basting stitch. This can be done with a serger as I have shown, or even a basting stitch 1/4″ from the raw edge. (If using a basting stitch, you will have to lightly pull the bobbin thread to gather until your raw edge fits nicely.)
Working with my serger, I slightly increased the differential feed which caused the fabric to gather slightly behind the presser foot. You don’t want a lot of gather, just slight. It is also helpful to start with a long tail and end with one.
Once I got all the way around my skirt, instead of sewing over the beginning thread, I veered off the fabric and left a long tail.
Without doing any adjustments, this is what I had. It’s practically hemming itself! 😉 You may need to adjust the gather around the skirt. I find it easiest to start directly opposite my start and finish stitches.
I had my differential a tad too high, so I had to let out the gathers just a bit. I did this by holding my hem in place with my left hand and then gently letting out the gathers with my right hand. This is why it’s important to have the long tails at the start and finish. They allow you to adjust if needed.
It’s so pretty already! No gathers or folds, just a nice flat hem!
Once you get to the end, you may have a bit extra gathered. Again, just let it out with the tails that you left yourself.
Wonder clips are amazing for knits and sergers and super handy because they have measurement units on the underside.
So pretty! I was tempted to show Miss A her dress like this, but she would probably love it and be disappointed that I couldn’t leave it!
Now head to your sewing machine and stitch with a long straight stitch. I was at 3.5
Hit it with a little steam when you are done and you have yourself a beautifully hemmed circle skirt!
You can grab the Gloria Party Dress Pattern and Circle Skirt Add-on that I used and head on over to Peekaboopages.com for my tutorial on adding this adorable bunny cutout, then come on back here to hem your creations!