Hemming knits and sweater tops

DSCF7631I happen to have a short body. Meaning, if a top isn’t a petite cut then it will be too long on my body, sort of making me look frumpy. In my Pattern Drafting a perfect T-shirt class, one of the main target areas is making a proper hem length to  accentuate your body. When they are too long and fold over in layers it adds to the waist line look. I don’t need any extra help there!!

I shop Goodwill so beggar’s can’t be choosers and petites aren’t as easy to find as regular cuts. Also, when a cool top comes along I don’t want to pass it up because of a hem length. Here’s my fix:

Hemming knits and sweaters (especially tighter finer knits)DSCF7633

Fold the top to the hem length you desire. I typically try on the top and then fold the hem up to the outside of the top. I pin in a couple places to hold in place.

Set up your machine with a twin needle. Make sure your machine is capable of using a twin needle also make sure you use the proper foot and faceplace if that needs to be changed. I like a 2mm needle for this hemming. I use the twin needle with knits especially to retain the stretch without popping the threads and to keep the knits from stretching out of shape while sewing.DSCF7636

Stitch around the finished hem, just above the original hem. I use a very small zig-zag about 1.5 width and a 2.5 length.

Fold back the excess hem, do not cut off yet… and top stitch with the twin needle, but this time use a straight stitch.DSCF7638I like to try and have the one needle, in the ditch and the other needle on the fold. These two rows of stitches will finish off and hold the hem. Now, turn over and trim the excess off, cutting as close the stitching and not the fabric as you can. Here’s a look at the back and the front on this sweater I am hemming.DSCF7639DSCF7641This will also work to hide and “fix” a torn hem. Fold out the excess and stitch as above.DSCF7642Once steamed the stitches ‘hide’ into the fabric and you now look tailored to a “T.”


3 responses

  1. What a great tutorial, Terri! This shorty really appreciates it and will put it to good use. Happy new year, dear friend.

    1. This appears to be just what I need to do with so many of my tops, but I’m just not getting it when you say “Stitch around the finished hem, just above the original hem. I use a very small zig-zag about 1.5 width and a 2.5 length”… Wish you had more of an explanation at this point. I will continue to reread and reread. Thank you.

      1. I want to save the original hem on the top because it looks best. I only sew out or remove the extra fabric by making a fold or tuck of the fabric and basically making a seam between the original hem and the actual top. try on your top… fold out the extra fabric above the finished hem… that’s what you are sewing out and why you are stitching right around the top above the finished original hem. I hope that helps!

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