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Hemming garments requires skills that range from old-fashioned hand sewing, to knowing how to manipulate your sewing machine or serger to give you the look you want.
Those of us who like to sew knits, but don't have a serger with a coverstitch capability, can still get that 'ready-to-wear' coverstitch look by using a twin needle on our sewing machines.
There are some special techniques you need to know, however, in order to prevent the 'tunneling' effect that twin needles often produce on knits:
I keep samples of every fabric I use, with notes on both serger and sewing machine settings and stitches, which I write on an address label as I test, and stick directly on the fabric/stitching sample when I've got it right.
This takes a little extra time when first using a specific fabric, but has saved many a headache when coming back to the same (or a similar) fabric weeks or months later.
Other tips from the lists
Rowena says: "you need to use stabilizer underneath the stitch, i use whatever i have on hand that seems like the right weight.
Faith from southern NJ says: "You can even spray starch the area and prevent tunneling
Lynne Harrington says: "Another technique which can improve twin needle hemming is taking the left thread OUT of the last guide prior to threading the needle. This is helpful when just the left needle thread is skipping -- evens the playing field on the tension.
The Quick-Fused HemThis can be a real-timesaver, as well as adding weight and a crisp edge to the hemline.
The photo is of a long corduroy skirt I made last winter, with an inverted front pleat and an A-line back. I really did not want to hand-stich this hem!
©Kathleen Timms, 2002, 2003