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How to Hem Stretch Fabric

By Funki Fabrics, 22 June 2022

Posted in Sewing

Hemming stretch fabric can be a bit tricky, but with the right techniques, it is easier than you think. In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to hem your stretch fabrics like a pro. Read on for tips and tricks that will have your garments looking their best.

Why is Hemming Stretch Fabric the Right Way Important?

Stretch fabric is a type of fabric that is designed to stretch and move with your body. This makes it the perfect choice for garments that need to be comfortable and fit well, such as swimwear, activewear, and maternity wear.

While stretch fabrics like lycra and spandex are easy to wear and comfortable, they can be a challenge to hem. This is because regular hemming techniques often don't work well on stretch fabrics. That's why it's important to use a hemming method that is specifically designed for stretch fabrics.

There are a few reasons why you might need to hem stretch fabrics even if you're not a clothesmaker. Perhaps you have a garment that has started to fray around the hem, or maybe you just want to give it a more finished look. Whatever the reason, hemming stretch fabrics can be a great way to improve the appearance of your garments.

foiled lycra

How to hem stretch fabric using a sewing machine

If you're using a sewing machine to hem your stretch fabric, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure to use a hemming stitch that is designed for stretch fabrics. You can find this type of stitch on most sewing machines. Second, be careful not to stretch the fabric while you're hemming it. This can cause the hem to become distorted. Finally, use a pressing cloth when pressing your hemmed fabric. This will help protect the fabric from the heat of the iron.

To hem stretch fabric using a sewing machine, follow these steps:

  1. Place the fabric wrong side up on your work surface.
  2. Fold the edge of the fabric over, to give the right finished length. Remember if you're hemming sleeves or legs that both sides should be the same length.
  3. Sew along the edge of the fold, using a hemming stitch that is designed for stretch fabrics.
  4. Trim any excess fabric, leaving about ¼ inch of fabric beyond the stitching.
  5. Turn the fabric over and press the hem in place using an iron and and a cotton pressing cloth to prevent damage to the stretch fibres.
  6. Sew along the edge of the fold again, using a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch.

How to hem stretch fabric by hand

To hem stretch fabric by hand, you'll need to use a blind hem stitch. This type of stitch is invisible from the right side of the fabric, so it's perfect for hemming stretch fabrics.

Here's how to do a blind hem stitch:

  1. Fold the edge of the fabric over twice, so that it you have the right finished length of fabric that you need.
  2. Insert your needle into the fold of the fabric, and then come up through the fabric about ¼ inch from the edge.
  3. Take a small stitch in the fabric, and then insert your needle back into the fold of the fabric.
  4. Come up through the fabric again, this time taking a longer stitch. Continue this process until you reach the end of the hem.

Now Go Try It!

We hope this guide has helped you to choose the right stitch for hemming your creations, Stretch fabrics are brilliant for so many applications but if they're not sewn in a way that suits they can soon fray or become misshapen.

FunkiFabrics are one of the UK's leading suppliers of plain stretch fabrics and patterned fabrics, take a look at our range and get started on your next project now.

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