What is the trick to making tidy rolled hems? I’ve just made Vogue 1240, a confection of flappy chiffon layers, and consequently have spent quite a bit of time struggling with this lately.
The pattern instructions assume that you don’t have a rolled hem foot for your machine and have you stitch close to the edge, turn at the stitching line, press, and then turn, press, and stitch again. This would probably work fine on any fabric that will take a crease, but my fabric’s an unpressable mystery synthetic. I tried but the folds sprung open every time I let go of them. I did make one hem on the actual dress with this method but it wasn’t a pretty one.
After that I resorted to the rolled hem foot and read about twenty internet tutorials on how to make a perfect rolled hem. About the best piece of advice I found (and now I’ve lost the link) was to hold the fabric edge vertically in front of the foot and let the hem do the rolling as much as possible, but even that didn’t always work for me. I found that on straight lines, if I trimmed the hem beforehand so that the edge of the fabric was perfectly straight with no fraying at all, I could get quite a good result. I know this one doesn’t look straight in the photo but it is in real life.
But any curves in the hem or wonkiness in the cutting rapidly caused problems. I’ve sewed over this bit twice in the hope it will stay put.
I think the difficulty I have is in feeding the right width of fabric into the rolled hem foot in the first place. If the width is too narrow the hem doesn’t roll and if it’s too wide you get a fraying edge sticking out from underneath it. I am starting to wonder if the answer isn’t to mark the correct width on the fabric so that I have something to aim for when sewing. Thoughts? I am determined to crack this!