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Hemming Knits, the EASY way

I was chatting with my friend Mac from Harper + Lu and she said she was afraid to buy the rayon spandex in the Simply By Ti shop becau...

I was chatting with my friend Mac from Harper + Lu and she said she was afraid to buy the rayon spandex in the Simply By Ti shop because she was afraid to hem it. If I had to guess a lot of you feel the same way.

I'm going to share this SUPER easy trick with you and you'll never be afraid again.

What you'll need:

-Item you want to hem (doesn't matter if the hem shape is straight or curved).
-Strip of cotton lycra that is the length of your hem and the height of the hem allowance. So 1" for a 1" hem, 1/2" for a 1/2" hem, etc. Preferably in a color similar to the project you're working on.
-Sewing machine or hand sewing materials.

That's it. Ready?

Step 1, complete your project to the point where you need to hem. This may be flat or in the round, doesn't matter.

Step 2, attach the cotton lycra to your hem, going either from one end to the other (flat) or all the way around (in the round). 

Overlap your cotton lycra strip if working in the round AND your strip wasn't long enough.

Step 3, using the cotton lycra as your hem guage, fold the cotton lycra into the hem allowance. You will now have a sandwich of your outer fabric with the cotton lycra inside the hem.

Step 4, press well. You could skip this step, but pressing makes everything look nicer.

Step 5, Use your stitch of choice to hem your garment. I like the 3 step zig zag when I don't use my coverstitch machine.

Advantages of this method.

1- I have an entire bin of cotton lycra scraps. So I don't pay anything extra for my cotton lycra hem. Chances are you also have cotton lycra scraps.

2- Lighter fabrics that are difficult to hem, are often aided by the extra weight in the hem. It helps them hang a little nicer.

3- Once you have your strip of cotton lycra, you don't need to measure out your hem. Me and my hem gauge are not really friends. I find it annoying.

4- Faster. Measuring out each part of a hem allowance takes time. You can trust that your cotton/lycra is the right length all the way throughout the hem.

Ready to try it? I'd love to hear about your experience with this method in the comments.

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  1. I've never heard of this method. I'll need to start saving my cotton lycra lengths to give it a try. This might be a good use for those long cross grain lengths that I inevitably end up with, since most hems don't need a lot of stretch.

    1. I'm just happy to have finally come up with a use for my mountain of scraps that are too big to throw away, but not really big enough for anything.

  2. I actually think this is a pretty cool idea. Will try it this weekend; have a bunch of lighter knit dresses that are going to need hemming.

  3. This is great! I was gearing up to sew for KCWC buuut...I really want to make something with that blue and black broken chevron fabric now!

    1. I'll be showcasing the final dress on Friday if you need another little push. ;) You can grab yardage for your own here:

  4. Ti-
    What size seam do you use to sew the cotton lycra to your sleeve? Thank you.

  5. If you didn't want the extra thickness in your hem, you could even remove it after ironing, before sewing.

  6. This is awesome! Can't wait to try it!


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