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How to Make a Narrow Hem with a Sewing Machine

Learn how to make a narrow hem with a sewing machine from designer Jennifer Wiese in this Howcast tutorial.


Hi. I'm Jennifer from Workroom Social, and today I'm going to show you how to make a narrow hem on fabric. We have our fabric here and we have our raw edge.

The first thing you want to do when you make a narrow hem is to sew a narrow seam allowance just on the single fold fabric, just on the single ply. I'm going to just use the edge of my presser foot, which is about a quarter of an inch, and I'm just going to stitch a straight line following that raw edge.

Now, this line is going to be used as our guide. What you can do is you want to fold over your fabric with that line on the inside. That's going to help you make a really narrow and even hem. I'm going to take this to the iron right now, just to press it all flat.

Okay. Now that we have our guide in place, the line that we stitched, we are going to fold to the wrong side with our stitch line on the opposite side of the fold. So, you want it in towards the raw edge. You don't want this line, for example, on the right side. So, you want to make sure you capture that towards the wrong side of the fabric.

Now, you have this fold that you can use, so you'll just do another turn. And you can press it down in place, and you have your narrow rolled hem. What you can do is take this and you can pin it in place before you sew. Now, you can see how using this line would be really good if you were doing an even narrower hem. You could do an eighth of an inch.

If you wanted to do this, I'm doing this on woven cotton right now. But if you wanted to do this on a really fine fabric, really light weight silk, I recommend doing two lines of stitching, which really gives you some extra body to fold your fabric around.

Now, let's take this back to the sewing machine to sew our hem down. We have our hem prepared. It's all pinned up and now I'm just going to sew a straight stitch right close to the edge here. As you practice more, you're going to want to sew your hem from the right side of the fabric, where you can't see the fold, just because the stitches come from your top thread is much nicer looking. But, it's not a big deal if you want to sew it from this edge so you can really see the edge of your fold and get really close to it.

And there we have our narrow rolled hem. This is the wrong side where you can see the lip. And if you turn it over, that's the right side. And we have this nice line and a really evenly folded hem.

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