How to Sew a Blind Hem Stitch – Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress

by Jamie Lau Designs

JamieLauDesigns03112014Main[ Photo credit: Liz Clayman]

Things have been quite busy in Brooklyn at the Jamie Lau Designs studio. We kicked off the new year with a photo shoot featuring our new textile designs inspired by the natural environment, travel, and art, with prints based on my photographs. We also celebrated the opening of our month-long pop-up shop at Makeshift Society in Hayes Valley (235 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA 94102), open Monday-Friday 9 AM-6 PM until March 31, 2014.

In keeping up with the momentum, I’ll be embarking on an exciting textile-filled journey to Japan later this spring and summer. In preparation for my two-month trip, I’m starting a new series entitled Fashion Travelogue, with the goal of designing and sewing the bulk of my wardrobe and accessories for my travel abroad (yes, even pajamas!).

This Spring Floral Linen-Cotton Gathered-Waist Dress is one of the first garments I made in this series. For this classic Jamie Lau Designs fit and flare silhouette, I chose a Japanese linen-cotton blend featuring a gridded background with a pink, orange, and lush green floral print overlay.

In this tutorial, I am going to share a finishing technique from my garment construction process which you can apply to your sewing projects at home: how to sew a blind hem stitch.

1. First, finish the raw edge of the dress hem with a serger (overlock sewing machine). Then, change the settings on your sewing machine to blind stitch hemming and switch to a blind hem foot. On my machine, I turned the pattern selector dial to “8” (this consists of two or three straight stitches, then one wide zigzag stitch) and my zigzag width control from “0mm” to “2.5mm.” Put the blind hem foot on your sewing machine.

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2. Next, fold the serged hem edge under ¾” toward the wrong side of the garment and give it a press.

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3. With the wrong side up, fold the hem back under toward the right side of the garment with the hem edge projecting ¼”, as pictured, and pin in place.

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4. Position the fabric on the machine so that the needle just pierces the folded part of the fabric when the needle comes over to the left side and lower the presser foot. Turn the guide screw on the blind hem foot and move the sliding guide next to the folded edge. Sew guiding the folded edge along the sliding guide, removing the pins as you go. (Tip: Do a few sewing tests on scrap fabric to figure out the best settings and placements first.)

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5. The machine will sew a pattern of two or three straight stitches, then one wide zigzag stitch. When completed, the stitching is almost invisible on the right side of the fabric (there will be tiny tacks of thread from the zigzag stitch). Lastly, give the hem one final press for a nice, clean finish. As you can see from the photos below, the hem appears crisp and neat without any topstitching.

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Visit my blog to view more photos of this dress from my recent photo shoot with photographer Liz Clayman and to keep up to date with my Fashion Travelogue series. Check out my Instagram for more behind the scenes glimpses of other looks from this shoot, including new Jamie Lau Designs prints!

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