Sunday, March 10, 2013

Scarf: Rolled Hem Foot

This month's sewing challenge is kicking my butt!  The rolled hem foot I chose to work with is a tricky little thing that I can't seem to get a handle on.  Plus, my photography skills...well please accept my usual apologies.  I think I'm loosing my blogging mojo!  Not that I had much to brag about in the first place!

Anyway, March's sewing challenge is to try a new sewing machine foot.  I choose the rolled hem foot.  I took it out once many years ago and it was a disaster.  So I decided to do a bit more research and really try to master the foot.  I started out practicing on a thin cotton print.  You may recognize it, I used it to make my maxi dress

After stitching about 5 inches, I was really getting the hang on it.

I stitched the length of the scrap of fabric and proclaimed myself a master!
What went wrong so many years ago when I first used this lovely foot?

So, enter the scarf fabric.  I bought this Red Tag (clearance sale) fabric at JoAnn's a couple weeks ago with making a scarf in mind.  At $3 a yard and me only buying 18 inches, it was a bargain!
The fabric itself is red and green paisley on a navy blue background with thin stripes of gold metallic thread.  You can see it draped over my sewing machine below and notice how sheer it is.

Once I squared up the fabric (not an easy task with this thin fabric) I pressed a 3/8 inch hem along the edges.  Then, using my trusty rolled hem foot, I started stitching.  The results were less than stellar.  Only about 20% of the hem was a perfect double fold.  The rest was only a single fold.  Maybe you can see in the photo below how the second fold didn't catch.

I considered trimming off the offending hem and trying again, but in the end just decided to live with it.  I got out my lighter and singed the fraying edges that didn't get folded into the hem.  I don't know how it will hold up in the long run, but for now I'm not too worried about the hem coming undone and the fabric unraveling all over the place.  Here's a look at the length of the scarf.  You can also see how I rounded the corner on the end:

I had both my kids take a crack at photographing me wearing the scarf.  While I'm sure they did their best, the results were pretty blurry.  Here's the well-edited best of the bunch:

In conclusion, I believe that my rolled hem foot has limitations when it comes to fine, sheer fabrics.  I have some thin jersey that would make a great scarf as well....but I'm not sure if I'll try to hem it or just leave the raw edges.  Hmmmm, decision, decisions!

What is your experience with rolled hem feet?  Any tips on working with sheer fabrics?  

Visit March's sewing challenge homepage here:
Visit Fancy Feet Homepage

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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Before you click away, I'd like to invite you to join in my current sewing/craft challenge.  


  1. I have one of those feet! At one point I may have put it away for the same initial reasons you did. I don't sew for myself usually, but I have been wanting to make some kind of summer-ish skirt. Maybe I'll have to dig mine out and try!


  2. I'm going to try a rolled hem, Rikka, but maybe I'll steer clear of sheer fabrics. I was thinking of using a thin cotton, so fingers crossed. The scarf really looks lovely. No one is going to check out the hems.

  3. Rikka, I've used that rolled hem foot several times over the past several years, on several different weights of fabric. My results are ALWAYS the same as yours - about half good....which obviously means also half less than stellar. :( A couple of years ago, hubs bought me a fancy-dan serger and it does a rolled edge a whole lot better, and way more consistently!

    A couple of months ago, I bought one of those joining feet from Creative Feet, but I have yet to use it...the developer made it look sooooo easy! We'll see, if I can ever get a round tuit!

  4. Love your scarf Rikka! Great job with the rolled hem foot! I've used mine a few times - never is perfect, maybe with lots of practice it would be. My overlocker (serger) does rolled hems too - but they don't look as effective as the sewing machine ones, so I shall persist with them and maybe one day will be an expert!

  5. Gee, I missed your challenges!
    I hope to be able to join in the next one.

    Great scarf!

  6. That is really interesting! It's always a harder challenge to use the lighter fabrics but scrafs are usually done with a rolled hem and often with the lighter fabrics. I wonder how they do it in India where most of these types of scarfs come from. I'm sure they use the industrial types of machines but the process and feet should be the same.
    the scarf looks great and Pam is right, no one will look at the hem.


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