Thursday, June 27, 2013

Hemming knits: The faux band

I wasn't planning on blogging about these shorts, since there is totally nothing interesting about them, but I tried a new hemming technique that I thought was pretty cool, and I wanted to share it with you.
They are basic elastic waist one piece shorts. I used the 03/2011-20 pattern for skirted leggings, since I already had it traced at a shorts length. The fabric is nylon/lycra spandex from Spandex World.
You'll notice that the hem edge looks like a separate hem band, but it isn't! It's a standard single fold hem, no separate pattern piece, no wonky stretching. Now, this won't work on an area like an neckline, where you have an inside curve, but it is perfect for sleeve openings, leg hems or the bottom hem of a garment. Here is how it works.
First, turn up your hem allowance and pin. You can use the fusible thread technique from this post to get a crisp edge if you would like, but I kind of like the soft fold for this. Note: I'm hemming these flat, but this technique works just as well in the round.
Now fold your pinned hem back on itself, right sides together. If you've ever made a machine blind hem, the technique is the same. You should have three layers of fabric at the bottom edge now, the raw edge of your fabric and the fold of your hem. Line them up neatly.
Now sew along the bottom edge, giving a scant 1/4 inch seam allowance. Make sure you catch all three layers. I'm using  my serger for this step, but it works just as well using a regular sewing machine. Just be sure you are using a stretch stitch and catching all of the layers in your stitching.
It comes off the machine looking like this. The faux band is stitched firmly to the garment. Fold the band down and...
there you have it! It looks just like a banded finish, without the fuss! If you want a more streamlined look, give it a press or topstitch the seam allowance toward the garment and away from the band. For a more sporty look like this, just leave it unpressed.
Here is how it looks on the finished shorts.
Myra says they're comfortable, and it's a nice easy finish. Hopefully you'll find this a useful way to finish knits as well.


Virginia at A Sewing Life said...

Great tip! You know, I've actually thought about trying this but never have. Yours looks very nice. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks!

Joy said...

Cool! I'll be using this!
Looks like Myra's impressed with the faux band, too.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhhh, this is smart, I have not seen this before! Thanks!

My One and Only said...

Thank you! Shorts are worth blogging about. My daughter goes to Christian school and scorts or shorts under the dresses are a must!

EmSewCrazy said...

This is a fabulous tip! Thanks for sharing!

Sandra said...

That is wonderful, so smart and looks fabulous.