Who said every garment needs to have a traditional hem? So many incredible pieces have embraced intentionally unfinished hems and seams, while still being able to keep them neat and stylish. If this is something you want to experiment with, you can certainly achieve great results, but it is important that you follow the proper methods and techniques to nail the look. Remember, a raw edge hem may hold its own particular charm, but it is when you make them uniform that onlookers will realise and appreciate the creativity of your design.
This video outlines a simple method of finishing side seams, securing & hiding the overlocking threads, if you're not adding a hem to stretch fabric projects.
SUITABLE FABRICS FOR RAW EDGE SEWING:
Fabrics suitable for a raw edge hem must not curl. These include:
SUITABLE PATTERNS FOR RAW EDGE SEWING:
Patterns you can use this method on:
Follow Me Wrap Dress & Skirt - flounce & hem, flounce sleeve
Forever Friends Wrap Skirt - flounce
Spellbound Dress - hem & flutter sleeves
Wanderlust Dress - hem & flounce sleeve
Heartlight Skirt - hem
Little Miss Heartlight Skirt - hem
Sashay Shorts - hem
Exhale Top - hem
In My Stride - flounce hem
Starlight Skirt - hem
Starstruck Tie Top - flounce sleeve
Tools: Rotary Blade* & Quick Unpick.
*Note: A rotary blade is a useful tool to have in your sewing kit. Whilst it's not essential for an unfinished hem, it will make the edge look much smoother & cleaner. It also makes cutting out your sewing projects much faster. I use mine on everything. Just make sure you have a cutting mat underneath.
HOW TO VIDEO:
RAW EDGE SEWING PROCESS:
Step 1: Create an Even Hem Line
To get started, you want to make sure that the line of your hem is nice and even. You can do this by placing the garment atop a cutting mat, and using a sharp, rotary blade to run across the raw edge hem and cut an even line.
Step 2: Unpick the Overlocking Threads
It is likely that you will then have some excess fabric, which can prove unsightly and leave the unfinished seams liable to come loose. The simple fix is to unpick the overlocking area right up to the edge where the shortest hem finishes.
Step 3: Cut Away Excess Material for an Even Raw Edge Hem
Next, take your blade again and trim the excess of the hem away to make the line more even again, making sure to keep your threads long and well clear of the blade. It helps to get a long enough line when you are cutting so it is nice and smooth, as well as gives you more room to work without risking cutting your threads.
Step 4: Knot & Hide Your Threads
Next, tie the threads in a double knot. To make things a bit neater, you can then hide the ends of your threads by taking a darning needle and threading all four threads through the eye of the needle. Then, proceed to insert the eye of the needle under the overlocking threads, going backwards as far as you can before pulling out.
Alternatively, you could also choose to put all four threads neatly together, and run a little stitch down using a straight stitch on your sewing machine.
Step 5: Review the Exterior for a Clean Finish
Once you turn the fabric back to the exterior, you will be left with a nice, clean finish – and voila!
Contact Pattern Emporium for Further Assistance & Inspiration with Your Raw Edge Sewing