Rolled Hem Foot

To hem my cycling vest, I used a rolled hem foot for the first time.  I used to love the  Kleibacker finish, which involved running a line of stitching incredibly close to the edge of filmy fabric, trimming it, and turning it again. That method makes a very light, beautiful hem.

But I have several damaged fingers, and can’t do things like that anymore.  Of course my rolling hem foot doesn’t do produce exactly the same result as the Kleibacker method, but it is a great take on it, and the foot is extremely easy to use.  You just guide the fabric into the front of the foot  (practice first — I did!), and it does the rest.

You’ll need to keep the tension fairly even on the fabric in front of the foot, and in back, but that’s easy enough to do, with just a light touch at the back.  Do hold onto the threads when you begin, and pull gently backward as you begin to stitch.  The result is very nice::

Corners are tricky, and they may not be perfect unless you practice a lot.  I did the long edges of the ties on my vest first, cut the threads, and then did the short ends.  It’s trickier feeding the hemmed edges through the foot; I had some trouble, and one of my ties has a fairly messy corner as a result.  I just kept reminding myself that it’s a utility vest, but for my next project, I’ll probably demand better results.

The foot here is a 2mm foot; it’s strictly for the thinnest fabric; this very light poly knit, or a chiffon, silk, or things of that ilk.  They’re available in various sizes — I have a 3mm that I haven’t used yet, for example, and it looks as if it can handle a slightly thicker fabric, and will make a slightly wider hem.

Related:  Sailor Cycling

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14 Responses to Rolled Hem Foot

  1. Kyle says:

    I just posted my new dress which has a ruffle finished with my rolled hem foot. Thanks again for the inspiration!!

  2. Kyle says:

    Noile, Just spent an hour or so playing with my new rolled hem foot and I am HOOKED! It is awesome! Thank you so much for this post and for inspiring me!!!!

  3. sheila says:

    Thanks for sharing. Recently in a conversation with a sewing friend we discussed the hemmer foot and initially thought I didn’t have it. Upon seeing it on a site, checked my presser foot box and lo & behold have a 4mm… now if only I’d know that before hemming my recent project a sheer blouse.

  4. I love my rolled hem foot, but it keeps me humble. Anytime I get all cocky and speed up because “I got this,” I end up not fully rolling the raw edge under. *sigh* It is a handy little foot.

  5. Kyle says:

    That looks AMAZEBALLS! I’m off to ebay now to buy one!!!

  6. velosewer says:

    I use my roll hem foot on occassion and for soft fabrics it can be challenging when there is a seam to run over. I have to iron this type of fabric to give me a even chance at getting it sewn right.

    • Noile says:

      There are definitely some challenges when working with these fabrics, velosewer. I’m eager to do more with this foot, and see how it works with other materials.

  7. Dilliander says:

    Noile, thanks for sharing this. I’ve looked at these feet several times and thought they may be too fiddly and imperfect. I’m still using the Kleibacker method but am impressed with your hem using the foot.

    • Noile says:

      Dillander, this foot really does a beautiful job, but, like anything else, there’s a little learning curve. Since you’re already doing Kleibackers, you’ll probably adapt very easily. I’m not as adept at close trimming as I once was (or don’t have as much patience), so I stopped doing the Kleibacker hems for fear of doing some real damage. No such hazards with this foot. I just had to spend a little time getting to know it.

  8. Elle C says:

    I have a love hate relationship with a rolled hem foot, I love the look and hate doing it (probably cause I don’t do it well). Yours looks beautiful and I am jealous. 😎

    • Noile says:

      Ha, Elle, *that* section looks really good, but it took some doing. It’s a Carnegie Hall kind of thing: practice, practice, practice!

  9. Mary says:

    I want one too! I just viewed a Louise Cutting video in which she recommended flipping the mirror image of the work behind the presser foot when navigating the corner. This gives the feed dogs something to grab and results in a smooth turn.

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