We are so lucky to have our own sink and tiny kitchen area in our new studio. We have a white mini fridge, a microwave and a bookshelf with a few utensils and dishes. Until recently, we were missing an essential: dishtowels! While we have a few rag type towels, we needed something pretty (and functional) to decorate the small space. For this project, Sarai and I decided on some medium weight linen. Instead of just hemming the edges and letting it go at that, we thought it would look pretty and vintage-y to try hemstitching. This is really nice on dishtowels but I can also see it on the hem of a dress or sleeves.
- a presser foot with a wide opening such as a non-automatic buttonhole foot
- single wing needle
- synthetic embroidery thread or silk thread
- linen fabric
- fabric pencil
- spray stabilizer or starch
Cut out the fabric to your desired size. This towel measures 21″x28″ to allow for 1/2″ seam allowance.
Spray the fabric with stabilizer or starch to stiffen it. This will make the hemstitching much easier.
Choose the place where you want the hem stitching and draw a line across the fabric with a ruler and fabric pencil. This is your stitching guideline.
Make sure you have inserted the single wing needle and are using cotton embroidery thread in both the bobbin and top thread holder. You are going to sew two rows to create this look. Choose the zig-zag stitch on your machine. Begin by slowly sewing along the stitching guideline.
When you reach the end of your row, make sure the needle is to the left of the design. Sink the needle down into the fabric. Lift the presser foot and turn your work around.
Sew the second row slowly, making sure that the needle is piercing the holes already made from the first row. This will make the center row hole slightly larger than those on the outside.
Press your new hemstitching. If you’ve used tear away stabilizer, it’s time to remove it.
To finish, iron over the edges of all sides by 1/4″. Iron again 1/4″ and pin in place.
Edgestitch to complete the hem.
Have you tried hemstitching? Do you have any tips to share with us? Although hemstitching is usually only for kitchen linens and the like, I think it would be so pretty on a garment. I can imagine this technique used along a hem, such as a lightweight summer dress. What do you think? How would you use this technique?