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Thread: How do I use a hemmer foot?

  1. #1
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    How do I use a hemmer foot?

    I'm doing a project for someone that requires a wide ruffle, so I have to put a narrow hem along both edges. I've been trying to practice on scraps using the hemmer foot, but can't seem to get the hang of it. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    For a ruffle I would just make a narrow hem on both sides simply turning it over twice and straight stitch it. I have used my hemming foot for deeper hems, such as curtains or clothing. I just followed the instructions that came with my machine. I think it takes a fair amount of fabric to fold back for a hem. Just my thoughts and probably doesn't really help you much . Good luck with your project.

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    Check your manual. My manual for my 401 shows how to use it. You could probably find on line on you Tube or Google.

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    What machine are you using? I would just use my regular foot and turn over twice the very edge and straight stitch. I would then run a large stitch down the strip and pull the bobbin thread to gather. Once it's gathered, sew to the garment.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What I have done in the past (alas, many years ago!) was to stitch a line 1/4" from the edge, take to ironing board and iron the fabric along that line (just barely hiding the stitching underneath), then turn the edge again and iron, then take back to the sewing machine to stitch the double turn down. The first row of stitching becomes hidden in the hem. It sounds like more work than using a hemming foot, but for me it ended up taking a lot less time as I was never able to master the hemming foot for a neat result.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pudge's Avatar
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    Brian Sews Hemming foot tutorial. Find it on youtube.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Here is a link to the tutorial Pudge mentioned: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlXaq4PsrlU

    There are quite a few other tutorials on how to use a hemming foot too:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...s+Hemming+foot

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    Sounds like you're talking about using the rolled hemming foot. I've never been able to master this, it's one of the things that you need to practice (and I have better sewing things to do - like quilting - lol). What I do is fold fabric to the front in as small a hem as you can, then stitch as close to the fold as you can. Then trim as close to your sewing line as possible, then fold as tight as you can back to the wrong side. Then stitch again as close to the fold as you can. Good luck

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    What I have done in the past (alas, many years ago!) was to stitch a line 1/4" from the edge, take to ironing board and iron the fabric along that line (just barely hiding the stitching underneath), then turn the edge again and iron, then take back to the sewing machine to stitch the double turn down. The first row of stitching becomes hidden in the hem. It sounds like more work than using a hemming foot, but for me it ended up taking a lot less time as I was never able to master the hemming foot for a neat result.
    I've resorted to this method, also.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    I always WISH that I could master that darn hemming foot. But alas!!!

  11. #11
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    here is another she really knows how to use it I could never master mine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpzj0Cu5zog

  12. #12
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    I have used a rolled hemming foot with success. The trick is getting it started. You start out by folding a narrow hem (1/8") over twice. You only need to do this for half inch or so. It helps to touch a hot iron to it to hold it in place. Then take it to your machine and put the needle down through the hem. Next take the fabric and pull it up through the rolled part of the foot and start stitching. The rolled part of the foot will roll the fabric into a narrow hem and the needle which follows closely behind will stitch it in place. You don't have to worry too much about where the needle will fall on the fabric because the foot will guide it. To do corners I stitch to the end and then start the new side fresh like I started out but try to miter the corner on the new side a bit to make it neater. I tried going around a gentle curve and it did not work well. I was able to do it but got some rippling. Straight edges work better. My manual for my machine (Janome 8900) had some instructions and pictures. If your's doesn't perhaps there is a tutorial you could watch on line. I love having that foot for finishing things off like napkins and such. It is a very narrow hem so wouldn't use it much for garment construction.

    The real trick that worked for me is holding the fabric up away from the bed of the machine to allow the roll in the foot to be able to take it up.

  13. #13
    Super Member crafty pat's Avatar
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    I have two types of hemmer feet, one is for blind stitching and is for a wider hem and one for a small rolled hem that would be used for a ruffle. The instruction book that came with your machine will show you how to use both.

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    The bernina has several hemming feet, I found it worked well with some practice.
    Mother yourself just as you would your own children, you will be surprised how much better you feel...Debbie Marie

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    I guess I didn't word my question correctly. What seemed obvious to me (that I looked up instructions and videos in as many places as possible before submitting my question) was not an assumption shared by others. I guess my question should have been: Have you used the hemmer foot successfully? What tricks or techniques do you use?

    I was surprised to see on the Singer web site a recommendation that a narrow, double-folded hem be ironed the entire length of the piece to be hemmed before using the foot. At that point a regular straight-stitch foot would work almost as well, I would think. The fabric I'm working with is a mystery fiber, but its resistance to ironing tells me the polyester content is significant. Attempting to iron a 1/8" hem several feet long (it's for curtains) with this fabric would send me either to the liquor store or the loony bin. I've practiced (quite a bit) with scraps of the fabric and have gotten some flawless stretches of hem (the fabric seems to be the right weight for this technique), after which it misbehaves (I can't see that I'm doing anything differently) and then it's single folded, pleated lengthwise, twisted, sloppy, etc. One video showed the person demonstrating holding the feed fabric sharply to the left, another put slight tension on the fabric by holding it front and back, and so on. I mimicked all these methods as best as I could and results were inconsistent.
    Last edited by Manalto; 10-10-2015 at 02:06 PM.

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    The Bernina website has nice videos of how to use a hemming foot (applies to all machines). I prefer the method where you start sewing a few stitches, remove the fabric gently, and then start rolling the hem. I finally have the foot mostly mastered, but it takes a lot of concentration to keep it evenly curled.Pam

  17. #17
    Super Member Lyncat's Avatar
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    It will be worth learning to use it. You can make a neat, narrow hem quickly without all that pressing! The pictures are from The Sewing Machine Attachments Handbook by Charlene Philips.
    Attached Images Attached Images


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    Thanks, Lyncat. Steps 1, 2 & 3 are precisely the method I've been following. My inability to walk while chewing gum may explain my lack of success.

  19. #19
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    I have made custom wedding gown for over 30 years and I still can't get the hang of that foot. I serge the edge and then fold it over and stitch it down. Nice finished edge on the back.

  20. #20
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    UPDATE: I did this the easiest way possible - took it to someone else to do! The more I tried and failed with the narrow hemming foot and the more I thought about struggling with seven pairs of curtains with generous lengths of ruffle, the less appealing the job sounded. There's a shop not far away with an excellent reputation that agreed to do it for a fair price. (I had to wait a couple of weeks before she could get to it, hence my delay with the update.) When I brought in the fabric, I explained why I wasn't doing it myself. The tailor (seamstress? What's the proper term?) said she's been sewing for more than 30 years and she could never get that foot to work properly. ("Maybe I'm just impatient." she added.) I asked her how she did the narrow turn required for a ruffle and she described the technique in Prism99's post below. So, a belated thank you. (How do we know which suggestion is the right one for us when there are so many options?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    What I have done in the past (alas, many years ago!) was to stitch a line 1/4" from the edge, take to ironing board and iron the fabric along that line (just barely hiding the stitching underneath), then turn the edge again and iron, then take back to the sewing machine to stitch the double turn down. The first row of stitching becomes hidden in the hem. It sounds like more work than using a hemming foot, but for me it ended up taking a lot less time as I was never able to master the hemming foot for a neat result.
    Curious about this method (and an inveterate glutton for punishment) I bought some more similar fabric and am in the midst of making a couple pairs of this style of curtain for the two kitchen windows in my house. The stitch-close-to-the-edge narrow hem technique is slow going, but so far, so good.
    Last edited by Manalto; 10-17-2015 at 10:55 AM.

  21. #21
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    Done, using the stitch-close-to-the-edge technique. After a while, it goes about as fast as I imagine a hemmer foot would, with the advantage that you can correct before you stitch.
    Name:  Kitchen curtains 005.JPG
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  22. #22
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Beautiful!!!

  23. #23
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    there are alot of you tube videos on this that show how to do it on a machine or serger. You could also fold the fabric in half and then only one side would need to be hemmed. If you have serger you could also do a rolled hem. some regular machines will do that too
    Judy

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    Quote Originally Posted by romanojg View Post
    there are alot of you tube videos on this that show how to do it on a machine or serger. You could also fold the fabric in half and then only one side would need to be hemmed. If you have serger you could also do a rolled hem. some regular machines will do that too
    A YouTube video (I've probably watched ALL of them on the hemmer foot) will show you technique, not magically endow you with the desired skill.

    Doubled ruffles are heavier, lack a header and aren't appropriate for the project.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Phyllis nm's Avatar
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    use scraps till you get the hang of it!
    on chiffon fabric i light a small candle and hold your fabric in both hands, run the fabric along the edge of flame. it will seal the edge of the fabric and will not efey out. needless to say if you get it to close to the flame or move it to slow you will burn it

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