A blind hem is an alternative way to sew a hem, and while it can be done using a sewing machine, here we will guide you through sewing a blind hem by hand and with your home sewing machine. The result is a hem that leaves minimal visible stitches on the front and back of the fabric.
What is Blind Hem?
A blind hem is a type of sewing technique used to create a nearly invisible hem on fabric. It can be done either by hand or using a sewing machine. The process involves folding the fabric, threading a needle, and creating small stitches that travel along the fold of the fabric.
The stitches catch a few threads of the fabric on the top side while mostly remaining hidden within the fold. This method results in a hem that is minimally visible from the front and also leaves a neat finish on the back. Matching thread color further helps to conceal the stitches, making the hem blend seamlessly with the fabric.
How to Sew a Blind Hem by Hand?
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sew a blind hem by hand:
Step 1: Prepare the fabric
Fold the fabric up a quarter of an inch and then fold it again to the desired width of your hem. Press the folded hem to achieve optimal results.
Step 2: Thread the needle
Thread your needle with a length of thread, making sure to tie a knot at the end.
Step 3: Start sewing
Bring the needle up through the fold of the fabric to begin. Then, bring the needle directly across to the fabric on the top and catch just a couple of threads. Run the needle through.
Step 4: Create the blind hem stitch
Return to the spot where you came up out of the fold, just a little bit further away from it. Similar to a slip stitch, go down into the fold but travel the needle along the fold about a quarter of an inch. This creates a small stitch on the front, while the needle travels inside the fold.
Step 5: Repeat the blind hem stitch
Pull the thread through and go from the fold up again, catching a couple of threads. Then, go back down into the fold, traveling the needle about a quarter of an inch. Continue this pattern until you reach the end of your hem, making sure to maintain consistent spacing between the stitches.
Step 6: Finishing the blind hem
When you reach the end of the hem, do one last stitch by grabbing the fabric and going through it. This time, leave a loop before pulling your needle through that loop to create a knot. Repeat this step one more time to secure the hem with two knots.
Step 7: Hide the tail
To conceal the tail of the thread, bring the needle only through the fold of the fabric and pull it down. Trim off the excess thread.
Step 8: Final touch
Inspect your blind hem to ensure it appears nearly invisible on the front, while the matching thread color makes it blend seamlessly with the fabric. Flip the fabric over to check that the back also looks clean and tidy.
How to Sew a Blind Hem on a Sewing Machine?
Can you do a blind stitch on a sewing machine? Yes! You can sew a blind hem on a sewing machine. A blind hem creates nearly invisible stitching on garments, just like the ones you find in store-bought pants. With the right technique, you can achieve professional-looking results using your home sewing machine.
- Sewing machine with a blind hem foot
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Blind Hem Foot and Stitch
Most sewing machines have a blind hem foot and a blind hem stitch. Refer to your sewing machine manual if you need help locating them.
The blind hem foot has a unique blade on the backside. Take a moment to understand how the foot and stitch work together. The idea is that the blade will run along the folded hem while the stitch catches a small portion of the fabric.
Step 2: Prepare the Fabric
Imagine you are working on a pair of pants. Take a piece of fabric and fold it to mimic the hem of your pants. The folded part represents the hem, and the remaining fabric is the seam allowance. Pin the folded hem in place, close to the edge, so you can see what it will look like from the right side of the garment.
Step 3: Position the Fabric and Foot
Attach the blind hem foot to your sewing machine. Place the fabric under the foot, aligning the folded hem with the blade on the foot. Make sure the fold is positioned correctly, and lower the presser foot.
Step 4: Start Stitching
Begin sewing by aligning the lever on the foot with the fold of the fabric. Start stitching slowly, following the edge of the fold.
The blind hem stitch will create a zigzag pattern, capturing a small portion of the fabric with each stitch. This zigzag stitch is what ensures the hem remains nearly invisible from the right side of the garment.
Step 5: Inspect the Results
After sewing a few stitches, examine the blind hem. It will be easier to see if you used a contrasting thread color or a wider zigzag stitch.
However, with a narrower zigzag stitch and a matching thread, the blind hem should blend seamlessly into the fabric. Evaluate the stitch quality and adjust the settings if necessary.
Step 6: Finishing Touches
Once you are satisfied with the blind hem, trim any excess fabric, and press the hem to set the stitches. The garment’s inside will show most of the blind hem stitches, while the right side will reveal a discreet zigzag line.
For a professional finish, consider serging the edge of the fabric before sewing the blind hem.
Which is better to use, blind hemming by hand or machine stitched hemming?
Both hand hemming and machine stitched hemming have their advantages, and the choice between them depends on personal preference and the project’s specific requirements. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:
- Nearly Invisible Finish: Hand hemming allows you to create a nearly invisible finish on both the inside and outside of the garment or project. The slip stitch or blind hem stitch used in hand hemming is specifically designed to be discreet.
- Precision: Hand hemming gives you more control over the stitching, allowing for precise placement and stitch tension. This is especially beneficial when working with delicate fabrics or intricate designs.
- Customization: With hand hemming, you can customize the stitch length and spacing according to your preference, resulting in a tailored finish.
- Versatility: Hand hemming is not limited to the capabilities of a sewing machine. It can be used on various fabrics, including those that may be challenging for a machine to handle.
Machine Stitched Hemming
- Time Efficiency: Machine-stitched hemming is generally faster than hand hemming, especially when working on larger projects or multiple garments.
- Consistency: Sewing machines can produce consistent stitch lengths and tensions, resulting in a uniform hem throughout the project.
- Strength and Durability: Machine stitches tend to be stronger and more durable than hand stitches, making them suitable for garments or projects that require frequent laundering or heavy use.
- Ease of Use: Using a sewing machine for hemming is relatively straightforward, even for beginners. It may be more convenient for those who prefer the speed and efficiency of machine sewing.
So, if you prioritize an invisible finish and have the time and patience for hand stitching, hand hemming with the slip stitch or blind hem stitch can be a great choice. On the other hand, machine stitched hemming would be more suitable if you’re looking for efficiency and durability.
Sewing a blind hem by hand allows you to achieve a professional-looking finish with minimal visible stitches. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to sew blind hems effortlessly, giving your garments a polished and elegant appearance.