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Patternmaking & Sewing Notes
by Don McCunn

Sewing a Rolled Hem

I found a great techniques for sewing a narrow rolled hem in Sandra Betzina's book More Fabric Savy. You use fusible thread as follows:

  1. Put fusible thread in your bobbin.
  2. With the good side up, sew a line of straight stitches 1/4" (6mm) from the edge.
  3. Turn under the hem and press to melt the fusible thread just slightly to the inside of the edge.
  4. Trim the excess hem allowance close to the fused stitching.
  5. Turn under the trimmed hem, then press.
  6. Top stitch the hem in place.

The beauty of this approach is that you can do small rolled hems on complex shapes. I used this technique on the ruffles of this cotton gauze blouse that I made as an example for my online class The Sleeve Sloper and Variations.

Fusion Blouse

The ruffles on the sleeves were created from circles of fabric like the one shown below.

I like this technique so much I created the video below showing a "beginning sewer" using this technique to finish the cuffs on a shirt I had made him.

I have found that my local fabric stores do not carry fusible thread but that it is readily available from a variety of sources online.

Copyright © 2015 by Donald H. McCunn