Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Hemming

I know it’s unbelievable, but we are finally at the final step of the Archer Sew-Along—the hem! And of course, I can’t show you just a single method to hem a shirt.

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

Let’s start with the press-and-turn-twice method. This is the way I normally hem shirts when I am sewing on my Bernina 710, possibly only because I haven’t gotten around to buying a rolled hem foot for this machine. Which means you don’t need a special foot to hem your shirt.

side, about 1/4 inch.
1. Start by making sure your plackets are the same length. If not, trim the longer one so they are even. (Duh!)

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris
2. Press the hem edge of the shirt tail to the wrong side, about 1/4 inch.. Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris
3. Turn and press the hem a second time. (Hint: Doesn’t hurt to double-check again that the plackets are even.)

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

4. Stitch close to the upper edge of the hem, backstitching at both ends. I usually use the edgestitch foot for this job, because the shirttail curve is gentle enough the edgestitch foot can still handle the job.

One of the other reasons I like this method is because it give a bit more weight to the hem, and it hangs a little nicer. If you always tuck your shirts in that doesn’t matter a whit, but I do <slightly> prefer it on shirts that are worn over bottoms.

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

OK, now let’s try it with a rolled hem foot, which admittedly is a bit faster and easier. If you have a rolled hem foot, that is.

1. Check the placket lengths just as above in the press-and-turn-twice method above.

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris
2. Do not even think about trying to start hemming at the beginning of the shirt using the rolled edge thingey on the foot. Turn a narrow hem twice and pin in place.

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

3. Backstitch for a few stitches, and then stitch forward for an inch or so. Notice there is no fabric yet in the rolled edge thingey.

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

4. Stop with the needle down, and then lift the hem edge up and into the rolled hem foot and continue stitching. Notice the fabric is now rolled into and under the rolled edge thingey. (How did I get a pix with my needle up?!?)
5. Continue around the entire hem, maintaining an even amount of fabric in the foot.

Note: A potential trouble area with this method is stitching over the side seams; getting the fabric to feed nicely and actually progress over the bulk can be tricky. Press the side seams before stitching so they are as flat and smooth as possible, and pull gently from behind to keep the fabric moving. Go slowly and show that shirt who is the boss! 😉

Whew, we made it to the end. Admittedly, it took WAYa bit longer than planned, but my life was seriously over-complicated this fall. Regardless, kudos to all who finished this project, and here’s hoping you make many, many more Archers. I made 3 for this sew-along alone!

And don’t forget you might be the lucky FREE PATTERN winner of the Sew Maris Archer Sew-Along. We all need more patterns, right? Post pictures of your completed Archer to the  Sew Maris Archer FB group to be entered to win a FREE pattern from Grainline Studio! Deadline for posting your pictures to be entered for the pattern give-away will be midnight January, 18th, 2015. And mucho thanks to Jen for the pattern!

Happy sewing!



4 Responses to Grainline Archer Sew-Along: Hemming

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge and skills, Maris. Since I wear a shirt open (lightweight tank top under), I’m interested that the weight of the hem helps with the way it hangs. To reduce its tendency to fly open, would you recommend cutting on the bias, or easing a little at the bust, or anything else? What type/weight fabric do you recommend (i.e. for full bust)?

    • You are so welcome Marsha – I am really glad you found the Archer sew-along helpful! I wish I had a good suggestion for the “fly open” problem with blouses worn open – I have the exact same issue when I wear my blouses over pants. Unless you want to secure them to your skirt/pants, I think it might just be the way it goes. Or maybe you could add little weight to your hem – like the Chanel chain – only hidden inside the hem? Worth a try!

      I don’t know that there are fabrics that are specifically better for full bust – but the one that would be a BAD choice would be quilting cotton. I would think you might prefer either a very “silky” feel cotton shirting, or cotton lawn so that it would drape nicely rather than standing away from your body and adding volume.

      Not much help in this department I’m afraid. Happy New Year and wishing you a wonderful sewing journey in 2015!

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