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Topic: How do you sew curves? Hem them I mean.  (Read 1536 times)
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« on: October 06, 2008 09:55:44 AM »

I know this sounds really odd, but I get how to hem a straight edge, but when it's a curve, doesn't the fabric fold a bit, like theres too much? Do you get what I mean?
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2008 12:29:33 PM »

if I understand, you're trying to sew a hem on a curve... so you'll probably need to snip the fabric that'll be fold under to allow that fabric to curve, maybe you have a pic of what you're working on for more help..?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2008 02:43:32 PM »

You'll also want to make a very small hem. The deeper the hem, the more problems you'll have with the fabric bunching. Another trick is to finish the edge of the hem with a serger, but set the differential feed higher so that some of the fabric is eased into the stitching. This will make the hem "automatically" curve up somewhat.
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2008 02:32:04 AM »

Here is an excellent tutorial:

« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2008 09:29:35 AM »

You will absolutely have more fabric.  Think of the hem as a part of a circle, and you're folding the outer part in; outer arc > inner arc.  Therefore, extra fabric.

1) Make teeny hems -- I second this wholeheartedly.  The closer the outer and inner arcs are together, the more similar the amount of fabric will be.

2) stay stitch before you hem.  This will make the folding/ironing part easier.  Use the stitching line as a fold-line.

3) Start at various points in the hem, e.g., at seams.  That way you'll be tucking in the extra at spaced-out intervals.  If you start at one point and continue all the way around, it'll be twisted, lumpy and you'll have a huge chunk of extra fabric at the end. 

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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2008 09:30:23 PM »

another option (works better on smaller circumferences) is to use a facing instead of a hem.

along the lines of lil_abi's #3 tip:
I like to pin  a larger curved hem in quarters then take each section and pin it in the middle, then in between the existing pins, and so on, then the excess can be pinned as little tucks.
I also think it makes it easier to run through a machine if you pin all the tucks so that the fold is facing in the direction you're stitching, if that makes sense. that way you're not getting hung up in the foot as you sew over the tuck.

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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2008 01:40:30 AM »

I agree with maggie.  PIN PIN PIN!  Then you can figure out all those wiley folds before sewing them.
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2008 02:11:12 PM »

If you're talking about a skirt or tablecloth or similar, my solution (because I absolutely hate hemming curved seams) is to use bias trim to hem. Voila, no excess fabric to fold under! You can do it to match exactly (make it out of the same fabric), or do it in a contrasting color/pattern. You could probably use cording or rick rac or lace too, but those aren't really my style. I did it on this skirt, of which I only have really crappy photos:

(If you can't tell, it's Simplicity 4494, which looks like this: http://flickr.com/photos/kls987/2457301242/, which has a lot of curves around the bottom edge.)
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2008 04:32:00 PM »

If you're talking about a skirt or tablecloth or similar, my solution (because I absolutely hate hemming curved seams) is to use bias trim to hem. Voila, no excess fabric to fold under!

Oh yes, bias rocks for finishing curved edges!
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2008 07:40:13 AM »

I just use the largest stitch on my machine as a basting stitch, and leave long threads at the end.  Then, I gather the fabric in a little bit, then roll the hem and adjust it.  Pin the heck out of it.  Comes out perfect. 

I usually make a very large hem when I do this, because it is usually for a cloak and I need the extra fabric weight to keep the ends of the cloak down.  This method still works.
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