Marianne Dress Sew-Along: Hemming

In today's Marianne Dress Sew-Along post we are going to hem! If you're making View A, today you will hem both the sleeves and the hem of the dress, so you will be all done! Yay! If you're making View B (or View A with the cuffs added) we only have the cuffs left to do next week. 

I know some people don't hem knits, but personally I prefer it for a more finished look. But if you'd like to leave your dress unhemmed, that's fine by me! It's your dress after all. But if you're into the hemming, here we go!

The dress and sleeve hemming is done exactly the same way and both have a 1/2" hem allowance. Use your seam gauge to fold the hem into the dress, wrong sides together, the full 1/2" allowance. Because this is a knit, the raw edge doesn't need to be finished and once it's sewn it won't fray. Pin the fold in place. Note: if you're using ball-point pins, make sure they're glass-head pins so when you press on them in the next step they don't melt!

Pin all the way around the two sleeve hems for View A, and the dress hem for both views. Press the fold in place prior to sewing. 

The hem of your sleeves and dress can be sewn in any way you like. Above are three different length and width combinations for a zigzag stitch, a 3-step zigzag stitch, and a honeycomb stitch. Your machine might offer these, plus a whole mess of other stitches. This step can be whatever you personally prefer. I do suggest that you use a stitch that stretches, so if you prefer something resembling a straight line, choose a straight stretch stitch so it moves along with your body movement.

If you have a fancy coverstitch machine, that is also a fantastic choice. When I had a ready to wear line, I sewed all my knits with an industrial coverstitch machine that was pretty much the greatest thing ever. Now that I don't have room or need for such a big machine, I no longer have a coverstitch machine, but I am considering purchasing one this year because they do an amazing and professional hem. To see beautiful examples of this, check out Andrea's post on her coverstitch machine.

Hems can also be sewn using a twin needle and two spools of thread on your machine. To be honest, I have never gotten my machine to sew this way very successfully, so you might be in the same boat as me. But, if you're never given it a try, see how it goes! It's a low-level of investment–just a needle and a second spool of thread–and it might turn out awesome. Colette has a good post on using twin needles on a hem, which is an excerpt from their great book that I mentioned in the early posts. If you're new to knits, I highly suggest purchasing this book!

Once you've chosen your hemming style of choice, sew the hem of the dress (and sleeves if applicable) and give the hem a nice press of the iron afterwards.

If you're making View A, CONGRATS! You're DONE! For the cuffs, we'll get to those next week so stay tuned!