Sewing a curved hem - two ways!
With the recent release of the Edith sewing pattern, which has a curved hem in two of the options (B and C), I thought I'd show you in a little more detail how to get that pesky curve to sit flat when hemming. I'm giving you two of the several methods that can be applied. These would work well and can be achieved on any regular sewing machine.
This is a simple, double-turned hem. Start with freshly pressed fabric and a trimmed edge. The iron is your sewing friend here!
Sew a gathering stitch 6mm (1/4") away from the raw edge of the fabric, do not backstitch and leave the threads long on both ends.
Pull on one of the threads to slightly gather the edge of the fabric around the curves.
Use the gathering stitch line as a guide for turning 6mm (1/4") of the raw edge towards the wrong side of the fabric. You can either do this on an ironing board and press with an iron or if it's easy to crease your fabric, you can just fingerpress as you turn, like I'm doing here.
Turn another 1cm (3/8") and fingerpress again or use an iron.
Pin generously in place.
Stitch close to the first folded edge with a regular straight stitch. Do not stretch the fabric while sewing. You can remove the gathering threads if you like, but if they're not visible and bothering you, it is not necessary.
Give it a good final press with an iron and admire your work.
You can also use bias binding as facing to finish a curved hem. This can be store bought (about 1.25cm, 1/2" wide) or made by you. If you make it, it is important that the strips of fabric are cut on the bias (diagonally) and not on the straight grain of the fabric, so the binding can stretch and curve to match the hemline.
Stretch one side of the bias binding while pressing with an iron, forming a gentle curve to match that of the hem.
Use steam on your iron if necessary.
Place along the edge of the fabric, right sides together, matching the curve.
Open one folded edge of the bias binding and pin to the fabric. Stretch the binding a little as you do this, but just enough to keep the other folded edge flat.
Follow the crease line of the binding to sew with a regular straight stitch.
Turn and press the whole bias binding to the wrong side of the fabric.
Pin generously in place.
Sew close to the inner edge of the bias binding with a regular straight stitch. (You can also use an invisible stitch by hand). This is what the wrong side of the hem will look like...
...and this is what the right side of the hem will look like. This method is really lovely and neat looking and can be used to sneakily incorporate fun colours or prints into a garment.
Although, as you can see from this sample, it's important to think about the colour of the binding you are using and how it will look from the right side once sewn. If your main fabric is a little light and sheer, a contrasting bias binding will show.
I hope you will find this post useful when sewing the curved hem on Edith or any other curved hem at all.