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How To Create A Blind Hem

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A blind hem is exactly what it sounds like: a hem with stitches you barely notice. It's perfect for window coverings, the hem at the bottom of a garment, or anywhere you want a clean finished edge. When I first started sewing, attaining a perfect blind hem was like finding the Holy Grail. And then a funny thing happened, I practiced it a few times, and realized it was really easy. It's sort of like learning to use chopsticks – at first it seems so awkward and difficult and then, suddenly, it's second nature. Try a blind hem and you'll never drop a wad of sticky rice in your lap again.

First, you will need a blind hem foot. This is a special foot that comes standard with most sewing machines. The foot shown below is the 9mm Blind Hem foot that came with our Janome Skyline S5. Your presser foot version might be slightly different depending on the brand and/o model of your sewing machine.


Notice the black part in the middle of the foot (it may not be black on your machine's foot). It's called a "flange." This is your new word for the day; try to work it into a conversation. The flange acts as a guide. It will rest against the folded edge of the fabric as you sew, allowing you to maintain a straight seam and make sure the space between the main stitches and the blind stitches is accurate.

Enough semantics; Let's actually do the stitch

Make a simple hem

  1. Figure out how big a hem you need to get the finished length you want. Most people prefer to err on the side of narrow over wide so there's less bulk to the folded fabric and the hem will lay nice and flat. In fact, it's often better to trim your fabric just a bit rather than make a giant hem.
  2. Let's say you have 2" to work with. First, fold back the raw edge ¾". Then, fold back and additional 1¼". The first fold rolls inside the second and you end up with a nice folded edge on both the top and bottom.
  3. Press the hem.

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Pin the hem

  1. Notice of the position of the pins in the photos below. It is much easier if you place the pins with the tops facing toward your main fabric – away from the hem's edge.
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At the machine

  1. Take the project to your machine. It should be wrong side up, showing that nice folded hem you just made and pinned in place.
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  2. Make sure the blind hem foot is attached and the machine set to make a blind hem stitch. Refer to your machine's manual to confirm the foot and the stitch number. 
  3. Tuck the hem under the wrong side of the main fabric, leaving about a ¼" of the hem's edge sticking out. The tops of the pins will now be pointing towards the machine.
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  4. Slide your fabric under the blind hem foot so the flange is resting against the folded edge of the main fabric. When the needle drops it will be sewing mainly into that ¼" of the hem's edge that is sticking out and catching just a tiny bit of the main fabric.
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  5. Slide your fabric under the blind hem foot with the flange resting against the folded edge. When the needle drops it will be sewing mainly into that ¼" of the hem's edge that is sticking out.
  6. Sew, keeping the flange against the fold of the main fabric. 
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  7. When complete, the bulk of the stitches will fall along the hem's edge and every third stitch or so will catch in the main fabric. 
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  8. Open the hem to straighten the seam, gently stretching the hemmed stitches so they lay flat, if necessary. Press well.
    NOTE: We used a contrasting thread for these instructions so you could see our work. You'll want to choose a thread color that matches your fabric so the stitches on the front will barely be visible. Blind!
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  9. You can adjust stitch length if you want fewer or more stitches catching the main fabric.



Comments (38)

ErinNagle said:
ErinNagle's picture

Thank you so much!  Actually used the blind hem stitch for the first time last night...hemmed three pair of men's trousers and they came out beautifully!! 

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ ErinNagle - That's great news. So glad you found us!

luvs fashion said:
luvs fashion's picture

Will try today! But I wonder if will work without folding the hem second time? My pants hem needs to lay flat for a nicer effect. I am serging the edge.

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ luvs fashion - the needle needs something to "bite into" which is the reason for the second fold. Should should be able to press flat unless the fabric is super bulky. If not, an invisible hand stitch would be your best bet.

tictactoe said:
tictactoe's picture

Love Ms. Liz Johnson so much about your instruction from the experiences.  In my far east Asian, we do blind hem by hands.  The long traditional dress has very long (>1 meter) front and back dress with split at the sides.  Cutting this dress is so hard, and then put them together, then the last part is blind hem which taking long time to finish by hands.  I bought the Brothers sewing machine last year and had a very nice fabric for this traditional Vietnamese Ao Dai.  I will measure myself and cut and sew it myself.  Important thing'll to use your blind hem technic to do more than 2 meters front and back surrounding the dress.  I will put the picture after I finish it,  but maybe takes for a while.  You save my time for this work.  Thanks a lot.

anne.l said:
anne.l's picture

What a brilliant tutorial with clear and concise photos and instructions. Placing the pins as you do has finally helped me to work it out - I always used to get in a muddle before trying to work out which way to fold the fabric! Thanks. 

KateE said:
KateE's picture

Your pin trick finally gave me a foolproof method for working blind hems out. Still having some issues as I have an adjustable blind hem foot and can't work out why you would need to adjust it! 

shali said:
shali's picture

Thanks a lot..great illustration..now I know how to do it correctly.. Great job

Liza Lopez said:
Liza Lopez's picture

Thank you so much, your illustration was great! I had never understood how to do this before

russb wa said:
russb wa's picture

I have seen this illustrated before but never never could get my mind wrapped around it.  this is the best I've seen kudos. :-) 

Dee Y said:
Dee Y's picture

This is a great demo on how to use the blind hemmer foot.  I have used it many times, always struggling with the amount of  main fabic to leave hanging.  Now I understand the process better.  Thank you for making mine and many other's sewing a fun and stress free experience.

Charlene said:
Charlene 's picture

I have never done this right. So thank you. I really need this help.

Mrs. H said:
Mrs. H's picture

SO easy!  Thank you so much for making this totally doable for a beginner! I got a job on Friday and I am starting on Monday...the only problem? No office clothes and I always have to take my pants in to get hemmed which means I'll either have to spend buckets to get all of my new pants hemmed or.....I can just follow or easy instructions! Thanks!

RachaelY said:
RachaelY's picture
I've always just done a straight stitch that showed on the right side, as I'm not patient enough to hem with blind stitches. This makes it look so easy, I'll never do "just a straight stitch" again!

.janie said:
.janie's picture
Thank you so much!!!!! I have tried this foot many times and couldn't get it to work.This has helped me so much!!!!
Amazed! said:
Amazed!'s picture
That is AWESOME! Thank you for the tutorial on blind hems. I for the life of me hadn't figured it out until just now! Thanks!smilies/grin.gif
Lexie said:
Lexie's picture
smilies/smiley.gif have sewn for years and that one foot has never been used because I thought it was so complicated but now with this tutorial I think it's going to be a snap. Thanks for making it so simple.
Sarah Hultquist said:
Sarah Hultquist's picture
Oh thank you thank you thank you. I have been stapling the hem of my $80.00 work slacks because I was unsure how to get that proffessional hem repaired and didn't want to pay for it. Now I will practice and then repair my favorite slacks. smilies/grin.gif
Sally G said:
Sally G's picture
ah, thats what that foot was for, I took one look at the extra stuff and it stayed right in the box. Maybe I'll take it out and give it a try. Thanks smilies/smiley.gif
GailB said:
GailB's picture
Wow, that is soooo easy! I need more specialty feet for my machine. Better start hinting..smilies/wink.gif Thank you so much.
BUDGETB's picture
This is a lot clearer than I ever did the hem. Struggled to line the folded part properly. I will do it this way from now on. Thank yousmilies/shocked.gif
ErinN. said:
ErinN.'s picture
Thank you so much! Like Naomi G. said, I've never quite understood the instructions I've found before. You did a perfect job of taking the pictures and explaining the steps.
Judy W said:
Judy W's picture
OMG! I keep a little scrap of fabric that has a blind hem on it so I can always refer back but by watching your easy instructions I don't need my scrap of fabric anymore. The way you placed the pins and then the photos made it all of a sudden click on how to make a blind hem! Thanks!
Nike@ChooseToThrive said:
Nike@ChooseToThrive's picture
Awesome. I'm so trying this technique.
GeriT said:
GeriT's picture
I really like to see the faces of people when they see what I created for them.I love to sew & donate to nursing homes.
GeriT said:
GeriT's picture
I love to see the faces of people when they see what I created for them.I really enjoy sewing & creating beautiful items.
Rooh said:
Rooh's picture
Wow! I have curtains to hem (thanks to the cats we had years ago ... the curtains have been droopy for a while smilies/wink.gif ), and now I don't have to try and do them by hand!
Jennifer from eatcraftsow.blogspot.com said:
Jennifer from eatcraftsow.blogspot.com's picture
Blind hemming is next on my to do sewing list along with shirring!!!!
veronica r said:
veronica r's picture
thank you so much for your tutorial. i bought my new machine mainly because it could do a blind stitch, and i had curtains needing that. but i still didn't know how to do one. my curtains have been hanging, hemless, for months. i aim to try out your technique asap! thanks!!!
Vianki said:
Vianki's picture
Oh my goodnesss! I've had the foot since I got my machine and never knew what it was for! Blind hems, like zippers, seem very intimidating. Thank you for explaining yet another basic but scary technique in a way I can understand!
Rathnapriya said:
Rathnapriya's picture
Thanks for the tutorial

i am learning from your tips..
CraftyCripple said:
CraftyCripple's picture
Thanks for this tutorial. I got a new machine which has this kind of foot. I've heard of blind hems but never seen one done. Now I know how to tackle it.
Naomi G. said:
Naomi G.'s picture
thank you thank you! the little pics in my manual are terrible and it never quite made sense to me! Ha! You made it so simple....I'm off to hem my dress pants now!
mrsew said:
mrsew's picture
WOW,you just made my life so much easier,this will be great on my draperies,I cant wait to get started.
Thank you sew much.smilies/smiley.gif
Karen Jerread said:
Karen Jerread's picture
Thanks for such a clear and sensible tutorial. My blind hems have been hit and miss.smilies/cheesy.gif
mrsmeek said:
mrsmeek's picture
I never realized there was such a thing on the sewing machine! (Maybe it's time I look at the manual again!) I always thought my dress pants had to be hand sewn if they needed hemmed because this is how they are usually stitched! AMAZING!!! Thanks for the new technique!

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