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Blind Hem Stitch (with a sewing machine)

First of all…….thank you, thank you for all of the help, advice, personal experiences, etc. with the PC vs. MAC debate (here).  We weighed the pros, the cons, thought about what we use our computer for, how soon we’ll have to get another computer anyway, etc.   (And haha, it WAS like starting a discussion about politics or religion.  There is a definite opinion on both sides……and I loved reading it all.)  However, we finally decided. Whew…..what a relief.  A new little beauty is on its way in the mail.  I’ll let you know if we’re happy with our decision.  Thanks again for helping us out.  Again…….I could squeeze you all.  In a nice way…….not in a tube-of-toothpaste sort of way.

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Do you sometimes wonder how those almost invisible hems are sewn into slacks?

Bottoms of curtains?

Occasional hems of high-quality dresses?

Well, wonder no more.

It really isn’t too hard to do. All it takes is a few images to see how it’s done and get it straight in your brain, and you’ll wonder why you’ve never used the blind hem stitch before.

What?!!  You can’t see the seam about an inch and a half from the bottom edge?!?!

Good. That’s the point.

Ready to learn how to make the Blind Hem Stitch??

First of all, look on your sewing machine to be sure you have this stitch…

Then, to make the stitch, it makes it easier if you have the special Blind Hem Stitch Foot in your collection of sewing feet.  However, if you don’t have one, you can still do this stitch without it.  You’ll just need to sew a little more slowly.  And measure a bit more carefully.

Here’s what my Bernina Blind Hem Foot looks like.  Notice that vertical bar that goes right between the two feet.

If you want to buy one, try a universal one like this one……..just be sure it will fit your machine.  $10 isn’t so bad when it comes to making hemming easier.  And neater.

Okay, now to get started, you will need to first fold up your hem (whatever the seam allowance is for the project you’re working on).  You can serge or zig-zag the bottom edge and then fold your fabric up once………or fold it up twice (like I did) to hide that very bottom edge.  Iron flat.

Next, pin that fold in place……..placing the sharp point of the needle down towards the bottom fold of the hem.

Then fold that entire hem under (towards the front side of the fabric) leaving about an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch of the fold showing at the bottom edge.

Now, turn your fabric sideways…..

…….and slide this bottom edge under your needle and blind hem presser foot.  Line up that folded edge of the fabric (the fold that’s the wrong side of the fabric) right up against the guide on the presser foot………and then the rest of that fabric to the right, under the presser foot.  As you sew, keep that folded edge right against the guide.

And as you get to a pin, pull it on out with your free hand.  This is why you pinned them the way I showed above…..so you could have easy access to them.

You will start noticing that there is a nice straight edge over to the right and then every few stitches, there is a zig-zag stitch that reaches over and grabs that fold of fabric.  See that?

Now, if you fold that bottom edge back down from being hidden on the other side……you will see this.

And then, if you flip the fabric over………your bottom hem will look like this.  There are tiny little tacks of thread, keeping the hem in place.

But hardly noticeable if you use the same color thread as your project.  See that?  Or wait, is it hard too see?  Good.

Just be sure to iron/steam the bottom edge really well.

And that’s it.

A nice and un-noticeable hem.  Ahhhhhh…….

**Now, remember…….you can totally do this if you don’t have the blind hem stitch foot. But you will need that certain stitch on your sewing machine, like I showed above.  Practice a few times by folding your fabric just like I did above and then feed your fabric underneath your standard presser foot so that the zig-zag stitch barely catches that fold of fabric.  Adjust as needed and keep it straight and steady.  Good luck!

And if you don’t have the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine…….just create a straight seam hem.  Or, create the same invisible look by hand, with a needle and thread.  (Tutorials found here.)

 

 

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This post is sponsored by:

Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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Comments

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    Appreciating the time and energy you put into your website and detailed information you provide. It’s good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same outdated rehashed material. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.|

  2. John Bedrosian says:

    I wish just one person would explain what to do when the hem is more that 1 inch and the material puckers as your nearing the end of the blind hem on the bottom of men’s slacks. It seems to me that when I hem more than an inch the difference in the width of the material between the rough edge and where you turn the hem up to for the stitching is just enough to create puckering as you sew around the hem, and then it does not press nice and flat. Any help or comments would be greatly appreciated by a man who likes a sharp and flat crease in his slacks.
    Thank you very much!

  3. Mikey says:

    This was extremely helpful and explained beautifully, thank you so much!

  4. Nicole says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! This tutorial helped out a lot, I couldnt for the life of me figure out how to fold my fabric for the blind hem stitch. Thank for for using a clearly contrasting thread to make this extra clear.

  5. Steve says:

    This is the best description of how to do a blind hem I have read and used over many years.
    Thank you

  6. LindaFaye says:

    Thank you so much for your tutorial, I always get the fold the wrong way. I think now I can proceed with some optimism.

  7. Darrell Barker says:

    First time using our new baby lock sewing machine! Your tutorial made this so much easier than the manual that came with the machine! Thank you so much!

  8. Robyn says:

    Tank you! I always have to come back to your tutorial when I need to do this stitch. I’ve seen a million other tutorials, but yours is the only one I can understand. Much Appreciated!

  9. Angela says:

    Thank you so much for this step by step guide, it has been invaluable to me today :)

    Angela

  10. Sue Noblet says:

    AT LAST!! This shows so clearly how to fold the material for blind hemming that I finally see the logic of how it works. My machine isn’t very fancy but it does have a “sleeve” arm (or whatever it’s called – my old one didn’t), and I’ve already shortened all those trousers that have been waiting in the cupboard for someone to alter them into shorts. I was thrilled when I turned the first attempt “right side out” to find that it had worked!!! Thanks – that was a lot of fun. What shall I do next?

  11. staci says:

    Yaaaaay – thank you SO much! This is the clearest, best illustrated tutorial I’ve seen :D

  12. Jan says:

    Yes! Minimally experienced sewer has success! My 18 yr old followed your excellent directions. Thanks to you she’ll be wearing her blind hemmed pants to her new job tomorrow! :)

  13. Britni says:

    Loved this tutorial! Thank you for taking the time to create such a detailed description! Used it to hem my husbands work pants.
    Wish you all the best!

  14. Angela says:

    I don’t know if you’ll ever even see this, but I just want to say THANK YOU!!!! Your website is so helpful. It’s always my first stop when I don’t know how to do something. I’m so thankful for your detailed instructions on how to do things. I just wanted you to know how much it is appreciate it. Some of us would be totally lost in this world of sewing if it wasn’t for your help. This one post is about to save me a few hours fixing something for a friend. So, again. . . Thank you!!

  15. SweetHipos says:

    Thank you a hundred times over! So excited to try this out. I’ve scored Barnes and Noble and haven’t found a book who explained it so simply! With awesome clear pictures to boot!

  16. Maryse says:

    Best tutorial ever!

  17. GinaLis says:

    I *just* mastered the blind hem stitch thanks to your tutorial!! Thank you soooooo much!!

  18. Zoe Houlihan says:

    Hi Ashley, my machine (Necchi) has a stitch that looks similar but the points seem to be closer together than they look on yours. Is this the correct stitch, or is it intended for something different? My manual calls them “Utility Stitches”, which sounded sort of generic, but maybe that’s actually a type of stitch… Any thoughts? Thanks so much!
    Zoe

    1. GinaLis says:

      Zoe, try using stitch 4 with the wider stitches. That did the trick for me! Good luck!

  19. Sabrina says:

    What a great tutorial — I desperately needed to learn to do this for a project! THANKS FOR SHARING :)

  20. Annie says:

    Thank you. You are a genius. I am very bad at following instructions but I found yours so easy to follow. I didn’t know blind hem existed until I saw your link.

    I might now redo all my curtains. Thank you once again. It’s a life changing. I can do so much with this new skill.

  21. Jen says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am, how shall we say, spatial relations impaired (seriously, in the 2nd percentile folks, 98% of the population does better than I do). So I have ‘sewn’ backwards, upside down and inside out blind hems in my quest to shorten a pair or two of pants. On the bright side, I’m really, really good with a seam ripper.

    Yours are the first directions and pictures that I have actually been able to make sense of and use. Yes, I have to check back in each and every time I go to sew one (and I mean between cuffs on pants), but I get it right….most of the time. So I am so thankful at your clear instructions. Keep up the great work!

  22. Michelle says:

    There are 156 people who have already commented but seriously… Thank you!!! You have just opened up a huge window of opportunities and conveniences! Xoxo was so lost for so many years without this.

  23. lisa says:

    Thank you for this tutorial! I was going nutz trying to hem my daughter’s pleated uniform kilt!!!! Before I found your tut, I couldn’t figure out which stitch to use on my Bernina and turning the pins as you suggested helped so much. It turned out perfectly!!!!

  24. Mary says:

    I’d never used a sewing machine to blind stitch before cause I never could figure out how you fold the hem. This is the clearest illustration I’ve come across. Now it seems easy. Thanks!

  25. Pennie says:

    Excellent tutorial but one small thing – it matters which way your machine zig-zags!!!!!

  26. Rose says:

    Thank you for the easy tutorial. I look like a sewing superstar to my kids for good looking hemming on their school uniforms!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for sharing!!!!!

  28. Darlene says:

    Fantastic Tutorial – easy to follow instructions.

  29. Rocio says:

    Thank you for this tutorial its very explanatory and simple…gonna be doing working on hems for a friends pair of pants and this tutorial really explains well!

  30. gill says:

    today thanks to you i have been able to blind hem and do smocking stich using elastic. thanks very much for your instructions.

  31. Miko says:

    Thank you SO MUCH!!! I seriously could kiss you! Seven pairs of pants to do and have been putting it off because I can’t bare the thought of doing it all by hand, and loathe to pay someone to do them all!! I have been trying to figuure it out for an hour with the machine manual. First try with your instructions and they’re beautiful!!

  32. celia says:

    Thank-you so much for this! 2min after reading this genius post I was doing it in real life.
    great description to accompany excellent pics.
    You rock! XO

  33. Melissa K. says:

    You are just so smart! I just bought curtain panels that need hemming. I’ll do some practicing, but then I’m going to do my hems up right. Thank you for the great visuals.

    1. Melissa K says:

      That was so easy thanks to YOU. The manual for my machine made things muddier, but your photos allowed me to re-hem my husband’s pants and hide the fraying inside.

  34. Julie says:

    Hi Ashley

    Just found your fab tutorial and thanks to you my summery dress is ready to rock n roll – lols when it stops snowing lols.

    I’ve plonked a link to this tutorial on my blog under resources to spread the word – thank you so much for taking the time to do the tutorial!

    Julie x

  35. lisacng @ expandng.com says:

    THANK YOU! Doesn’t seem so intimidating now!

  36. DWales says:

    Thank you for posting this! I’ve never really understood how to do this as all the sewing books I have makemitmlook far more complicated than it is. I just hemmed my first 2 pairs of trousers with this stitch after Serging the edges and they look amazing! Saved for teaching my daughters :)

  37. EL says:

    Thanks for your really clear instructions, I can now do blind hemming. Brilliant.

  38. Pegi says:

    THANK you, THANK you!!! We needed this SOOOOO badly!! All the others I’ve looked at so far were so confusing!!!

  39. Sue says:

    My granddaughter’s dresses now have a perfect, professional hem…thank you so much for taking the time to post your very clear tutorial.

  40. First Try says:

    It’s so nice to have computer to ask how it’s done and your instructions were very helpful and easy to understand Thank You

  41. Karen says:

    Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Usually I do my hemming by hand, but I needed to hem a pair of dress pants for my son and wanted them to be extra nice so wanted to do it this way. First time around I did not keep the fabric “pushed” up against the edge of the foot as recommended so totally missed all the tacking. I increased the stitch width and kept the fabric in place and it worked like a charm. Always good to learn something new. Thank you sooo very much.

  42. Vickie says:

    Hi there, love this tutorial. Always wondered how that was done. Can you to this on lycra? I tend to use 4 way stretch to make clubwear and am looking for better ways to do my edging. This seems perfect but I know lycra can behave badly!

    Thank you :-)

  43. Kristina Noall says:

    It’s almost a YEAR AND A HALF later and I’m STILL referencing this awesome tutorial each time I need to do the stitch. Today it was for husband’s ginormously too long temple slacks. Thanks for helping me make his time there tonight much more enjoyable!

  44. Faith says:

    Thanks for this awesome post . The pictures are fantastic! I haven’t mastered it yet but I’m close.

  45. Stephanie says:

    Thank you! I knew this could be done, but decided to finally try it this weekend, after one of my sons had a windfall of dress pants and suits! The first one, i think the tension was too tight, but it worked, and i still have lots to perfect the technique with! I’m so glad i took a minute to search, and so glad i found this beautiful blog!

  46. BuddingSewer says:

    Hello! This is only one of a hundred comments and it probably repeats what half them say, but this tutorial is awesome! The instruction manual for my sewing machine left me confused and discouraged, but you explained it wonderfully and it took me no time at all. Thanks a billion.

  47. Danielle says:

    Thank you so so much for posting this! I’ve tried learning this before and failed miserably but your simple instructions, suggestion of the guide foot to buy/use and the pictures are amazing. I absolutely love my work pants from Express but literally every pair I buy, the hem falls out within a week so this will save my work wardrobe one hem at a time :)

  48. Logan stefanie says:

    Hello, these instructions make it so easy but I’m just wondering, if you use the straight stitch because you don’t have the blind hem stitch on your sewing machine will the hem be visible on the outside?

  49. Brandi Davis says:

    I’ve watched dozens of videos on YouTube but could never get the fold down. I’m barely 5 ‘ tall and have to hem nearly everything. Thanks for making it simple! Now I will be able to wear the slacks!

  50. Jen says:

    I have to say thank you a million times over! After trying and failing with my machine instructions, I found yours and perfectly hemmed my dress pants on the first try:-) Even better, now I teach my mother…she has sewn forever and had never figured it out, hehe…thanks again!

  51. Louise says:

    I am speechless. Thank you for the great tutorial on blind hem with a machine. I cannot believe that I never knew how to do this until now.

  52. Xiaoqing says:

    Much clearer than the instructions that came with my machine.

  53. Leni says:

    Thank you!!!!!

  54. Tiffany says:

    Ok, tried one more time to figure out how to do a blind hem stitch and saw your site pop up in google…happiness! I have made lots from here and had great results!! You were my first skirt ever for my girls, and first ruffle skirt after that. :-) I finally see how to do this blind hem!!! IT worked!! Thanks!! And, I did see that my machine came with a blind hem foot. I still had trouble getting it to catch well, but I will work with it some more.

    Thanks!!

  55. Cassandra says:

    Thank you SO much for this tutorial! Blind hems have scared me almost as much as zippers, but now that I’ve tried it following your steps, I am wondering what I was worried about!!! LOL. Thanks again… I’ll be sharing this tutorial this morning to my readers via my facebook page ;-)

  56. Brianne says:

    I pinned this when you originally posted it and used it today. Thanks for the great tutorial, I am so happy to know how to do a blind hem now!

  57. Zoe says:

    Well I did it! I could probably use a few more projects to practice my technique, but it still beats the heck out of hand stitching hems! I almost threw myself a party when I realized I already owned the blind hem foot – had never known what it was, or even thought to look at it to be honest!! Thanks, Ashley :)

  58. Chinh Nguyen says:

    Thank you very much. This is the best instruction!

  59. Val Newman says:

    So pleased I found these instructions. These are the only ones I could fathom out. Brilliant

  60. Jill says:

    Thanks for a really clear explanation of how to do the blind hem stitch. I especially liked how you showed using a Bernina because that’s what I have. Only, I’ve been looking at the hem’s on pants I’ve bought and the thread seems to be slimmer and more delicate than the thread I have. And it seems to show less than with the thread I’ve have been using for blind hem stitch. Can I get thinner thread like is used by the manufacturer of my pants?

  61. Ylvsta says:

    Ok, i get this – i swear i do… it just won’t work in practice. Maybe i need to sleep on it. The zigzags must not show thru, the zigzags must not show through…

  62. Ylvsta says:

    Hi Ashley, thank you for your many excellent instructions & the inspiration to sew, sew, sew! (and make use of old scraps!)

    I’m wondering if maybe there’s another way to do the blind hem stitch thing, in that it depends on the machine?

    My manual (for Janome Decor Excel II 5024) has the fabric going the other way. Yet since it also seems to end up with a jagged edge, I thought I’d go w/ your method, since the result is so nice + clean.

    I’m still in a muddle, basically, and I’m wondering if it could be the machines – our feet look the same, but the way you place the fabric looks different…

    Any tips welcome! :-)=

  63. Peg H. says:

    This might be my all-time favorite tutorial! I’ve been trying to figure this out for years, but my sewing machine’s manual makes NO sense to me. NOW I can do that blind-hem stitch. THANK YOU!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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