Sewing with Your Feet... Overcast and Blind Hem Dynamic Duo
Most sewing machines sold today come with a few feet. These two feet make a great team when it comes to putting in a hem. If your machine did not come with these, you should be able to purchase the feet and put them to good use. The feet shown are snap-on and used on Babylock and Brother machines, however each manufacturer
have feet that give similar results. Please check with your local dealer to obtain the correct type and style for your machine.
The two feet are the Overcasting Foot (G) and the Blind Hemming Foot (R) that I use in tandem to do almost all my hemming.
Along with the feet that accompany your machine, you should also have one or two built in stitch choices for each of the feet.
For this blog, I used some bright-colored, woven fabric and white thread to stand-out to see easily. Otherwise, I would match my colors.
This screen shot is from my machine instruction manual. It shows the different overcasting stitches available on my machine. Most machines have several built-in stitches that coordinate with the feet available for the machine. The first is used for reinforcing of light and medium weight fabrics (usually woven). The second stitch is used to reinforce heavyweight fabric. The third stitch is for the reinforcing of medium, heavyweight and easily fray-able fabrics.
In order to achieve a smooth edge and even stitch, choose the correct stitch style designed for the weight/type of the fabric you are using. The foot is designed with an extended toe on the right with a fabric guide that prevents the fabric from going under and keeps stitches right on the edge. The needle forms the stitch smoothly due to the added stitch finger built into the underside of the foot.
This is the finished edge that will hold those fibers from fraying off and keeping a finished look that lasts wash after wash.
Most machines offer a variety of basic stitches and an overcast and blind hem stitch are typically included. Remember to look at the stitch options your machine offers. If you need something other than the basic stitch, consult your user guide to see what options are available!
The next step in the hemming process I use is the Blind Hem Stitch. The standard stitch works
very well for woven fabrics like the one in my sample.
Notice on my machine screen it also shows an image of the foot needed (R). I appreciate the visual reminder, as
well as seeing the specific way it stitches out. Even on a basic machine, this information is often printed out on the front of the machine or by the stitch selector dial or knob.
Once the overcasting is completed, the blind hem is ready to go! I press in the hem so everything lays nice and flat. Then I fold the hem back so the edge with the overcast stitch is all that needs to go under the left side of the foot. On this foot, the guide is on the left side. It carefully guides the fold of fabric so the "V" part of the stitch can be formed. Like the overcasting foot, the blind hem foot also has an added stitch finger built into the foot that forms the stitch.
Once the blind hem stitch is complete and you turn it over, you will have a lovely hem. When you use matching thread the hem is almost invisible. I have used this method on almost anything that needs a hem: skirts, dresses, and curtains to name a few. However, when I hem up pants/slacks, I use the blind hem stretch stitch. The look is neat and professional.
These are great utility feet when used individually, and even more effective when used together.
If you have not yet tried this method of hemming, I do hope that you will look and see if you have this "dynamic duo" in your sewing space and try it!
Smiles, Sandra of Inspired Remnants LLC InspiredRemnants@gmail.com