How to make a hand-rolled hem

photos-002Why a post on how to make a hem?

Well, to tide you over during the long, cold winter until we launch the spring line (more on that later!), we’re hoping to write lots of posts on various topics: what our dolls like to do in their free time, recent adventures in the Great World of Fabric, and snatches of poetry that make Melinda dream anew of gorgeous weeds.  And little bits of technique about how we actually put the dresses together.

So, here it is, the first post in our new category: Sewing 101!

Nothing finishes a beautiful dress quite like a tiny, hand-rolled hem; it does take some time, but it’s really not all that hard. Here is Samantha to show you how! How to Hem 1

I caught her while she was hard at  work putting the hem in one of the Madeleine dresses. She was more than happy to demonstrate her technique.

“First,” she says, “you have to let the dress hang overnight, so that any stretch in the skirt will come out. Then you can mark where you want the hem with pins. Make sure it’s even!” 

How to Hem 3The next step is to cut off the extra fabric. Give yourself a little seam allowance (we’re using 1/2″) and cut off that far below the pins. Then you take out the pins and press the hem up and to the inside (so that there is one crease just where the pin line used to be).

How to Hem 4“This last step takes the most time,” says Samantha.  “Here you have to finish turning up the hem, pin it in place, and then stitch it down.” (You can see all these steps at once in this photo.)

I asked Samantha what she thought the hardest part was. “Probably the stitching,” was her reply. “It’s tricky to make your stitches tiny and invisible at the same time!”

How to Hem 5

Samantha is well capable of tiny, invisible stitches, though, as her finished hem testifies. 

“It really isn’t that hard, once you’ve practiced a bit, and it’s definitely worth the effort!”

Happy Hemming!
—Melinda, Melody and Samantha

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