Iron on tape for hems?

flowermumSeptember 5, 2006

I do not have a modern sewing machine with the bells & whistles and the material I am currently working on looks horrid with a stitched hem. I have tried every hem my machine makes in each stitch length and tension with no success.

My skills at hand blindstitching are not good. Therefore, has anyone used iron on hem tape and does it work well? Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks a lot.

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I have used it to hem curtains and to hem the sides of wrap skirts. It seems to hold up ok in the wash so I would say go ahead and try it.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 11:10AM
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Liza, thank you for responding. I worked patiently last night on the hand blindstitching again. I believe I have mastered the technique, but still on the fabric I'm using, the stitches are tiny and you cannot see them on the right side of the fabric, but there are tiny "pulls" in the material.

So I will go forth with using the iron on tape.

This has taught me an invaluable lesson...while this material is very pretty; I need to be mindful of the way in which certain materials will sew.

I'm a beginner apparel seamstress and I've made several of these skirts (McCall's 2192 View E), but this is the first time I've had a problem with a hem.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 12:02PM
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Once you hem it are you pressing it??? The 2 go hand in hand!!!
Take a scrap of the fabric,make the hem as you are doing on the skirt,them press it,and see what your results are.

The problem some have is because they don't press,and that's just as important as the sewing,and especially if you are doing it for someone else.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 6:16PM
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Perhspa you just pulled your hand sewn stitches a bit too tight.
Some garments just don't look right with iron on tape & I've never found any that looked good and stayed put after washing or dry cleaning.

I was taught to pick up a single thread thread from right side of fabric. Try practicing on scrap fabric- bet you'll have it down in no time.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2006 at 6:17PM
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Hi everyone,

Kathi, yes I have been ironing but what I finally realized is that with this material (a type of knit), I couldn't use the traditional hem I had been using with all the other skirts I had made.

I have since come to learn that sewing knits presents its own set of issues (for me anyway).

My solution was to make a hem at the very end of the skirt. The hem basically disappeared after sewing like this.

Grittymitts, thank you for your tip. Yes I "thought" I was grabbing a single thread and pulling lightly, but I'm sure I have a lot of practice left before I truly master this skill.

I also was pressing the hem line to mark it and then turning under, and then sewing. However, with this knit material, I learned that the hem looked better if I didn't turn it under, but rather just sew a straight hem.

I resolved the issue with the hem but on the inside of the skirt, the hem is unfinished/raw edges. So I need to figure out how to make the inside hem attractive.

Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 7:15PM
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For a finished look can you sew silk or polyester hem tape to the right side of fabric edge of hem first.

On the garment you just hemmed it's a bit late unles you take it out, add the tape & re-hem it. Try it next time- and don't give'll soon be whizzing thru' projects.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2006 at 8:23PM
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For woven fabrics, iron on hem tape will work for a period of time...wool can be iffy I learned the hard way.

Since knits usually don't ravel, unless it's a sweater or specialty knit, you can pink the ends, run a stretch zigzag on the bottom, or trim evenly, and hand hem. Another method for a sportier look is to use a double needle and machine stitch your hems.

As Kathi said, press, press, press, before, during, and after you sew your garment. You will get a nice, accurate hem with garment shaping.

There is a difference between ironing and pressing.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 5:42AM
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Grittymitts, I will try the hem tape you mentioned. You know, this would have SOLVED my hem issue. I will use your idea for my hems when I am working with delicate material.

Stitchntime9, I've never used a double needle before, so I will learn this method also.

I wore the dress on Sunday and I must say, excluding the "inside" raw hem, this was my best apparel work to date. I was so proud of myself. It is just beyond cool to actually wear the clothes one has made.

I love sewing sooooo much!!!! My next project is a button down blouse. Simplicity 5455.

Thanks everyone.
: )

    Bookmark   September 11, 2006 at 9:50AM
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