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….;)