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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: sew4funwme
Date: 09-18-2006, 09:10 PM (1 of 4)
Hello everybody, finally I can write posts and reply to them!! Horray!! =)

My first question is how do I sew a hem for the bottom of my toddlers skirt that I am making. I am not sure if I cut the fabric out in the right direction because no matter what I do to the ends they are fraying badly. The ends of the fabric seem as if it were made of felt (it is able to pull apart very easily.) I haVe started over a few times and ripped out the thread and started over. Any suggestions? What would be the proper hem to use for this project? Since the ends come apart so easily I was thinking I would just sew a regular seam first, then fold the ends up to the fold then sew again.

Also another question I have is, after I cut out all my pieces of my pattern, do I then finnish all the pieces by pinking or zigzag stitch, then stitch my 5/8 seam to all pieces before I attach them to other pieces of fabric? I am asking this because I would rather ask than I assume so I don't go about my projects in the wrong way.

I am very ambitious to learn more about sewing but at the same time I feel I want to give up. All the time I have been spending lately tends to get me know where. Anyone else feel like that at times? I wish I could just sit there and in a few hours have a wearable piece of clothing. Hopefully I get to that point someday, (soon?) =)

I have had the tendancy so far to start projects and get myself stumped then start a brand new project. I am glad I found this online website to help me out. The times I went into Joanne Fabrics I felt so stupid asking all these beginner questions and only getting half answers in return and then coming home more confussed than when I started.

Looking for some good advice from you all out there on

User: sew4funwme
Member since: 09-16-2006
Total posts: 5
From: kmccrea
Date: 09-19-2006, 08:35 PM (2 of 4)
Hello, Jennifer!
Folding the hem over twice will solve the fraying problem with your skirt. Fold up half the hem allowance, press, fold the hem again, same amount as before and press again. Sew the hem in place and you're done. Or, you can zig-zag over the raw edge of the hem and then fold, press and sew.
Stitch your pieces together, then finish the raw edges by either zig-zagging, pinking or covering. A serger sews and finishes at the same time, but wait until you've become more comfortable and experienced with sewing.
Katherine McCrea
Designer At Large
User: kmccrea
Member since: 05-07-2006
Total posts: 173
From: sew4funwme
Date: 09-21-2006, 08:41 PM (3 of 4)
Hi Katherine, thank you for responding. I went out yesterday and bought some matching bias tape. This should work. Any suggestions in using this kind of tape? I think it's wide single fold. Do I iron it on then sew it so it covers the edges. The edges are pretty badly frayed. I choose a fabric that is not forgiving unfortunately.

Talk to you soon.

User: sew4funwme
Member since: 09-16-2006
Total posts: 5
From: paroper
Date: 09-21-2006, 10:39 PM (4 of 4)
ok, first, fold your hem up and press in place. I usually really lengthen my machine basting and baste it in place by machine. You want the hem to stay up and even but you also want it out of the way of your work. Sometimes this makes the basting near the bottom...sometimes closer to the middle of the folded hem. Now your hem should not shift as you work and you shouldn't end up with rolls all over the place.

Next, open your bias tape and with it looking at you, roll it over and open the top fold. Place this fold against the top of your hem inside the dress. It should be right sides to right sides. I like to fold the edge of the bias tape up before I start because when it is flipped into place, the first edge will become the top and that gives you a finished edge. Sew the bias tape around the top edge of your hem, using the crease of the tape as your seam guide and the edge as the placement guide. Once the tape is in place, fold it up, pin and hand sew your hem into place using a slip stitch.

The tape will conform to the shape of the hem because it is bias. If you have a circular skirt, the tape extends the lengthe of the skirt so you don't have to worry so much that you don't have a lot to fold up.

In this case since you have damage, once you have pressed your hem up and basted I'd measure the hem to see how low the damage is...then I'd draw a line and use that for my placement guide for the tape. After you sew in the crease if you're concerned about ravel, I'd go back and zig zag the edge (normally not necessary...I don't know what your fabric is it is an option.) After the tape is sewn on and you are ready to flip it up, trim off the excess garment above the tape to get rid of the raw edges. You do not necessarily have to trim terribly close to the can go abut 3/8-1/2 from the stitching line with no problem befcause of tape width. If you cut too far you can always encase the edge in the top flap of the tape as you pin as long as it will lay down and not roll inside the fold.

Bernina 200e, Artista V5 Designer Plus, Explorations, Magic Box, Bernina 2000DE & 335 Bernette Serger, Bernina 1530 Sewing Machine, Bernina 1300 DC Overlock (with coverstitch)
User: paroper
Member since: 02-03-2004
Total posts: 3775
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