Hemming curved edges with sewing machines can be frustrating. It is easy to end up with wavy, bunched hems that ruin the smooth look of the garment. You could do your curved hemming by hand; however, that can be tedious and time-consuming.
The Problem with Sewing Curved Hems
Whether you are making circle skirts, tops with trumpet sleeves, or anything else with a rounded edge, producing a smooth, flat curve can be a difficult part of the pattern. The reason these hems are so hard to complete with sewing machines is the folded back seam allowance has a larger circumference than the fabric it is folded against. This often results in unsightly bumps and waves under the hem that can affect the lay of the garment. Worse yet, greater hem width make this problem more noticeable.
The goal is to find a way to finish the hem so all fabric lays flat. Fortunately, there are two easy techniques you can use to make sewing curved hems with machines like the Janome 660 a breeze.
Making Hems on Curved Edges
To make smooth, even hems around curved edges with Janome sewing machines, try one of these simple methods:
- Baste and Fold - This method works best with lighter weight fabric made with standard 5/8-inch hems. First sew a line of basting ¼” from the raw edge all around the fabric. Increase the thread tension slightly for this basting stitch so it eases the fabric along the stitching line. Fold the edge over the basting line and press it down on the wrong side. Fold the pressed hem over one more time, then iron it down again. Topstitch at the top of the folds to create the final hem and press once again. Because the basting stitch and the two rolled layers ease the fabric, any extra circumference that might cause waviness is contained so the hem is nice and smooth.
- Facing - More appropriate for when you want to make a wider hem, the facing method also produces beautiful hems around curved edges. By using a facing piece that has the same proportions as the main fabric, you can have a finished seam without any excess fabric that causes lumps and bumps.
Cut each pattern piece smaller than indicated, leaving off the seam allowance around the curved edge to be hemmed. Cut a fabric piece the size of the seam allowance you omitted with the first cut. Attach the extra facing strip to the fabric on the right side so the raw edges line up; pin it at the side seams. Stitch around the hemline at the raw edges. Fold the facing strip under; press and pin it into place. Topstitch to sew the facing in place and finish the seam.
Before you become frustrated and disappointed when attempting to hem curved edges with sewing machines, try one of these great techniques. The hems sewn with your Janome 660 will look great and your superb sewing skills will shine. The more of these little sewing tricks you learn, the more fun you can have with Janome sewing machines!