Monday, March 11, 2013

Curved hem "cheat"!

It's fair to say, I like me a curved hem. It's also fair to say, I find them a buggar to sew. But last week my college tutor delved into the college stash and pulled out this hemming aid. (I was working on my Aztec top at the time) She had no idea what it was called, or where it had come from. All she knew is that it was bloody brilliant for hemming knits. She demonstrated it on a straight hem sample. Brilliant, I thought! And duly took some home with me to finish my top. Then, as I do alot, I made it slightly more complicated for myself, by deciding I wanted a high/low curved hem (my own worst enemy I am!). And therin lay the challenge that spawned one of my favourite things.....a eureka moment!

I think this stuff is akin to Steam a Seam. Karen goes into more detail here about the overall process of using it. But this "cheat" is primarily concerned with how you get the stuff to go around a curved hem; when it is essentially a straight strip of paper. Hmmmm......

Notching that's how! After all, don't we use notching on fabric seam allowances to achieve all those curved elements; like collars, sleeve seams etc. Stands to reason then, that to curve that straight strip of paper backed stuff, notching would do the trick, right? Right! So I notched the entire strip before pressing it to my hem edge. As I worked along the edge I used the notches to manipulate my strip to follow the curved edge of my hem. Worked like a dream! When it came to peeling the paper backing off, it was a bit fiddlier, as essentially I was adhering the strip to itself where the notches overlapped to create the curve. But this was seriously a minor detail. The paper backing still came off fine, just in 3 or 4 pieces rather than one smooth strip. It pressed over beautifully with none of those mini folds/pleats that I often have to fight with when sewing a curved hem. I applied the same technique to my curved neckline too, which was alot easier than facing it or applying binding.  Happy days!

Gonna try this on a woven fabric to see if it's as effective there. If it is, then I can see this stuff becoming a staple in my sewing supplies. (I really ought to stop calling it "stuff" if we're gonna have a long term relationship....;)


7 comments :

  1. My fav cheat for curved hems is to serge the edge, flip it under and topstitch. Works great and nobody can tell from the outside!

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    1. Sadly I don't have a serger :( It's the flipping under bit I find fiddly too. I guess I need all the help I can get, lol!
      Px

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  2. Brilliant idea! I just got some into stock and haven't had a chance to try it. Makes sense to use it and apparently it is the shiz for stabilising knit seams when you sew them too.

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    1. Yeah, I've heard that too Maryanne. Karen has good things to say about it. Is it steam a seam then? Is the pic in the post what steam a seam looks like?
      Px

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  3. I wouldn't call that cheating at all. What ever it takes to get it right!

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  4. It looks like you didn't actually notch it but instead just slit it. Actual notches would've prevented the overlapping and thus the extra work. ;) Great tip, though, and definitely not cheating!

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  5. I have been using Seam a Seam and products similar to it for a long time. This is the first I have seen for a curved hem. Brilliant. But I will say the product has been a staple of my sewing supplies for a long time and I use it very very frequently.

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