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Topic: How do I avoid hems that flip?  (Read 1109 times)
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Firefairy
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« on: November 27, 2011 07:26:01 PM »

So, I am doing laundry, and finding once again that there is a reason I only wear certain items once in a blue moon- they look great when I wear them, but when I wash them, they come out with every hem folded back on itself.  Even items that come out otherwise smooth have completely flipped-up hems, which then require me to :shudder: iron them in order to restore them to wearability.  Even weirder, the fold isn't anywhere in the fold comprising the hem itself, it is usually just above the seam line, as if the tiny amount of fabric above the seam is somehow super-repulsive to the main fabric or something.  Huh

Why do the hems on some items do this when other (seemingly identical) hems do not?  Is it something I can avoid through careful construction on items I create?  Some trick to washing or drying or wearing that will prevent items that have this tendency from actually doing this?  It is ridiculous to have to iron things like skorts and jean shorts just because of the seams doing this- they are supposed to be fun, easy-wear items!  I am hoping there is some solution that will make it easier to keep certain items in high rotation instead of treating them almost like my dry-clean items.  Undecided

Thanks in advance for all advice!  Grin
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2011 10:21:07 PM »

I have the same problem every once in a while. I usually tear out the hem, iron really well to kill the existing creases. Then I repress in the new hem, really carefully, and add hem tape: http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Stitch-Witchery-Regular-Tape/dp/B0001DSIHI

It's fusible bonding, very flexible and soft. When you put it into them creased hem and carefully iron over again the webbing melts. Let it dry then sew your hem like normal. It gives a nice shape to your hem. I like it especially on skirts because it adds the tiniest bit of stiffness to the hemline, less then horsehair braid but more then nothing. I always use it when I alter my husband's pant length. You can also look for "no sew hemming tape." It's available at most crafting/fabric stores, I just gave the link to show the reference. I never use it by itself tho some say you can. I just feel better having a nice, stitched hem.
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2011 01:08:54 PM »

Interesting... that implies that it is something about the turn-of-cloth that makes them flip up.  Might try this on some of the shorts/skirts that are perfectly well-behaved other than the flip.

Other than the hem tape, do you do anything in particular to get the hems not to flip up?
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2011 05:03:49 PM »

I make sure to press ever. single. hem. I never just fold over. Part of the pressing is like a check to make sure you don't end up unevenly turned. Sometimes a hem can kind of bunch on itself and crinkle because the part being hemmed has changed width unevenly. Crease a piece of paper but crease it unevenly and kind of push in along it. It's hard to explain, but you end up with this odd ripple across the width of the hem. That can make a hem twist up. Also, a very wide, untaped/interfaced hem will roll/flip on itself sometimes as it gets washed, dried and recreased. The key is to press, reinforce wide hems, hem narrowly when you can. Ironing the HECK out of a twisting hem can fix it sometimes, if it's a matter of the hem having been messed up by laundering. Nothing but a redo will fix a construction related issue

Another thing that works is if you double fold the hem. Basically, find your length you want and mark it (chalk, tailor's pen, pin) and fold in, press, fold a second time, press and stitch. You'd have the raw edge encased inside the second fold. This is really good for lightweight fabrics and dress pants. Basically, the double fold reinforces the hem to prevent it from getting mangled into a twist. It won't work on some fabrics, heavy corduroy and heavy denim come to mind first.
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