Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hem finishes ...

Into the New Year has seen me with a wide variety of trousers for hemline 'alteration'. As I usually repeat whatever is the original stitching finish, some of these are completed by machine (like jeans) whilst others have to have a 'blind hem' copied. These 'industrial blind-hem finishes' are quite invisible but with their continuous thread manner of stitching, once an end is pulled, the entire hem can easily & quickly come undone. Although domestic machine 'blind hemming' is especially good for some garments, I find that in others it leaves the inside hem with a row of visible stitching as well as sometimes leaving a 'slight ridge' on the outside if the fabric is somewhat thick. Also, it can result in the missing of some of the 'catch stitches' especially if the fabric is a man-made one & as stitched, will normally result in a 'foldline' being visible that is sometimes difficult to press out.

So if the garment is to be used frequently & have a reasonable amount of continual wear &/or cleaning, there is nothing better than a 'hand-worked lock-stitch' hem. Something resembling a peculiar type of blanket stitch, it enables a hem to be held firmly in place whilst being almost invisible from both sides of the work when finished. Very hardwearing, it can easily be adjusted in stitch size to take into account the fabric type being worked on, is fairly quick & easy to stitch & if the hem needs adjustment later, is readily unpicked.

Over the next few weeks, I will be showing this technique in greater detail along with some of the problems mentioned above.

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