Saturday, April 5, 2008

Fabulous Foot Friday (Well, close anyway)

I am amazed how quickly Friday comes and goes. One minute is is afternoon and then it is over. Well, I have to be honest. It flew by because I was throughly engrossed in finishing up my Burda skirt. And I did! I will post on it later today (if I don't get caught up in my New Look shirt that I am itching to get started on). Back to Fabulous Foot Friday.

For the next few weeks the feet that I will be showing to you are feet that I purchased because I thought they were so cool. I loved the effect that they created but I do not use them very often. These definitely are accessory feet. They certainly aren't necessary but are fun to have for options. This one today is one that I know a lot of people love (some couldn't live without it) but I have had a very hard time getting used to. I think I need more practice. Today's foot is the Narrow Hemmer Foot. I bought this because I thought it would make hemming so much easier and for many it does.

The Hemmer foot rolls and hems the edge of your fabric all in one step. How cool is that!! This one takes a little practice getting used to and you might have to slow down your sewing a bit. In the past I have had great difficulty sewing slowly. I bought this foot to make hemming easier and faster so I thought I should be able to sew fast, right? No. Slow and steady is the best method. Slowing down gives you time to make sure the the fabric is feeding into the guide correctly so the hem doesn't twist. Once you get the hang of using the hemmer foot at a slow pace I am sure that you will be able to speed it up later.

There are some great tutorials out there using this foot. Dawn at the Secret Pocket has a tutorial that is really good (I have so many of her posts saved in my bloglines). She gives a couple of links but I will also include them here. They are fantastic resources.

Threads Magazine: Mastering the Narrow Hemmer
Sew News: Fancy Footwork-Rolled Hemmer
Jan Andrea's Using a Hemming Foot Tutorial

Hemming Feet come in various sizes depending of the weight of the fabric and the size of the hem that you want. My foot is a 5 mm Narrow Hem Foot. It works for light-mid weight fabric. Cotton works great. I wouldn't use this size for heavier fabrics such as denim or corduroy. You would need a wider foot for those types of fabric.

How to use this foot:

To begin you must start your hem before placing underneath the foot. Use the hemming foot as a guide for how wide to begin the hem. It helps to pin the hem in place. Once you have it started place it under the foot and set the needle down to secure and check that the hem is very close to the edge. Your stitching should be very close to the folded edge. Stitch a few stitches to secure fabric and to insure correct placement.

Lift foot with needle down and place raw edge of fabric in the fabric guides. Lower foot and continue stitching guiding the fabric into the guide. It is very important the you keep the fabric curled even with the guide. Do not led fabric go under the edge of the right side of foot. The Threads article has some great pictures showing results of improper placement of fabric.

This is your finished hem on the right side.
This is the finished hem on the wrong side. Notice how close the stitching is to the edge.

This is obviously not a complete tutorial but I hope that it is enough to get you started thinking about Hemming Feet. They are a wonderful accessory to add to your sewing collection. With some practice I am sure that this foot will become a necessity.

Kat mentioned needing to get a special box for her presser feet. I thought I would show you how I have organized mine so that I know what I have and can access them easily. Originally this box was only for my accessory feet. All of my standard feet were stored in a box that was attached to my sewing machine. I recently removed this box from my machine to put a table to extend my sewing area. Now I have too many feet for this box and need to come up with a new solution.

Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

Until next time...


  1. Awesome! The box is a great idea!

  2. Very cool! Tamara, did you get this box from a craft store? I'm thinking of the ones from ACMoore that usually hold beads.

    Last time I used my narrow hem foot was on a short sleeve flounce. For some reason, working on a curve is a lot harder, IMO, than a straight edge when working with the narrow hem foot. What do you think of that? Maybe it's just my perception of things. It caused me so much frustration that I said the heck with it. But I did get some good results on a straight edge when I was at the "How To Use Your New Machine" class at my sewing dealer several years ago.

    I think I'm going to go back and print out all your tutorials and put it in a Foot book. These are so useful.

  3. As fate would have it, I just used my narrow hem foot for the first time on Saturday. Mine makes a really tiny hem. I guess I didn't realize there were feet available to make such as wide hem. I hemmed 60" of ruffle with it and by the end, I was getting pretty good at feeding the fabric in properly. I never got out of first gear, though.

  4. Kat, Sorry that it took me so long to respond to your great questions. I think my box came from Joann. I think that it was with all their other storage stuff. I have never used my hemmer on a curved hem. I bet it could be harder than a straight on. I haven't used mine that much. I definitely need more practice.

    Paula, that was A LOT of hem. You must have been so happy when you finished.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I will try to reply back to you if at all possible. Have a great day!