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Thread: I need help please with a basic sewing question.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    I need help please with a basic sewing question.

    I am hemming a length of fabric for the sides of a simple drapery panel. I carefully removed the salvage edges first by cutting away 1 in and then hemmed these side edges. I pressed the hems when I was finished but the hemmed sides still "pull up" shorter than the rest of the width of fabric. Can anyone give me an idea what is causing these hems to do this? I so want these drapery panels to look nice. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by Quilting D; 11-17-2012 at 06:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    It probably is just the stitching itself. If the tension is not correct, the fabric will draw together a bit on a long seam. Another thing that may be happening is that the fabric is shifting. Did you pin it a bunch? A walking foot may also help.
    When I made drapery panels, I didn't sew the hem to the fabric, the panels were lined and I sewed the home dec fabric to the lining by hand.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I am not really clear on how you are hanging the fabric. Is the selvedge edge on the bottom? Or on the sides?

    In any case, my best guess is that your sewing machine stitch is gathering the fabric ever so slightly as you hem. I believe one fix for this is to hold the hem firmly both in front of and behind the presser foot as you sew, making sure that the fabric is taut.

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    My first thought may not be accurate, depending on all of your actions, but I wonder if the fabric shrunk where you pressed it, especially if you used steam and didn't press the centers. It's also possible the stitching pulled it up a bit.

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    tip for getting hems not to shift is the seam a steam tape you fold your hem fuse than stitch, no shifting. That's how I did my daughters dress
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D

  6. #6
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    All good suggestions. Another consideration might be the weight of the thread compared to the weight of the fabric. If the fabric was more sheer you might have had better luck with lighter thread and tension.
    Cheryl Robinson
    http://www.silverneedlestitching.com
    APQS Millenium Longarm with Intelliquilter

  7. #7
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    Sounds like a tension problem to me, but it could be any of several things, as others have suggested. I would try a walking foot, with a bigger stitch, and loosen the tension a bit.

  8. #8
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    Thank you all so much for your responses and ideas. I am going to try several of your ideas. Prism 99, my salvages (trimmed off)edges are running up & down from floor to ceiling. I do think the tension is basically okay as the stitches look nice but it does as many of you suggested seem to be a "tension thing" . I think the weight of the thread matches pretty well and I ripped out one side hem and lengthened the stitch length but no luck. I bet if I did them by hand Paper Princess that they would look nice but I'm not sure I have the patience for the hand work. I hate to hand sew and the panels are 115 in from floor to ceiling. I did not use any steam when I pressed the finished hems so I am glad to say, PHEW! At least I didn't shrink them!!!!
    I really think my biggest challenge right now is to make up my mind that I am going to take the time to rip these out & do this right. It will be approx 24 yards of ripping out! This is so so a lesson on testing things on a practice piece first! HA!
    Thank you all again for all your suggestions. I think I hear a LOUD FROG in my future, RIIIPPPP IT RIPPPP IT!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Vat
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    It could be a slight tenion problem but you might could try drapery weights on the sides inside the hem. That is what drapery makers do to make them hang straight. They also put them it all seam-ends inside the hem.

  10. #10
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Another suggestion is to use the blind hem stitch if you have that on your machine, along the sides. Less thread "bites" into the fabric and might lay smoother. I would test first if you decide on trying this.

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