TUTORIAL-- Sew an Easy Textured Knit Hem

Tuesday, December 14, 2010
For adults or children, this a fun way to add some textural interest to a plain hem on any garment made with stretchy knit fabric !

Here is a close-up of the sleeve hem of the knit under-Top pictured above, made for my 4-yr old friend Julianna. 

You can barely see all the decorative stitching on the flat of the hem because the thread matches so well

So I will show you the steps I used to achieve this effect using contrasting colors in the samples below.

These samples have been done on flat pieces of fabric, however it it best to do this treatment "in the round" on an actual garment. 
Using a measurement 1/4" less than you have allowed, turn up the hem and press. In other words, if you allowed for a 1" hem, just turn it up by 3/4".  Then stitch it from the wrong side with a decorative stitch so the the stitching holds down the raw hem edge, as shown below--

Next, make another fold, turning the hemmed edge up about 1" deep to the wrong side and press, as shown below--

Now using a sewing machine or serger, "lettuce" the fold by stretching it while zig-zag stitching or serger-stitching along the fold. It will look something like this after "stretching and stitching."

Now turn back the hem into its normal position, and admire your new Textured Decorative Hem !

In this teaching example the effect looks rather garish because 
I have used highly contrasting colors.                             
When matching thread is used, the effect is far more subtle :)