How to use a Rolled Hem Foot

November 18, 2012 in News, Tips & Tricks

roll hem copy

Sew pretty rolled hems on garments and ruffles with the rolled hem foot with your Baby Lock Sewing Machine!

I used three examples to show the different fabrics: Silk Chiffon, Satin, and Woven Cotton. This is a great technique to practice before performing on an actual garment. 🙂

 First, when making rolled hems, you’ll need to iron up the bottom edge about a half inch, as shown. So, if you are hemming a dress, you’ll want to leave about 3/4″ for your hem allowance, but, still only iron up the bottom edge a half inch (the rolled hem foot rolls it up about another 1/4″). If you’re hemming a chiffon dress, I’d leave about an 1″ hem allowance because chiffon likes to do it’s own thing sometimes and tends to shrink up a little more).

Trim down your ironed-up edge to about an 1/8″ as shown in the next 2 pictures…

These small ridges give you enough thickness to keep it rolled over nicely when passing the fabric through the foot.

Make sure your rolled hem foot is on and your needle is in the center (I also like to change my stitch length to 3.0mm). Hold the top with your left hand and your right hand should be about 3″ down.

Place under the foot…

Pull the fabric, in front, up and in to the foot making sure that the ironed-edge stays rolled over.

It’s difficult to stitch the beginning (scroll further down to the chiffon fabric and I’ll give you some tips on doing this). However, typically, when you are sewing a hem, you’re sewing around a circle rather than a straight line (like our practice piece). When you’re hemming-in-the-round, it’s a little easier to grab the fabric behind the foot. Hold the fabric behind the foot with your left hand and with your right hand in front, the fabric needs to be continually rolled over between your thumb and fore finger…have slight tension on the fabric continuously so that it doesn’t roll too much or too little. It takes some practice to get the technique down!

Don’t hold the fabric like how it’s shown twisted out to the right below, rather, constantly roll it over…

Keep rolling it in, how it’s shown below…

TIP: If you are hemming-in-the-round along the lower edge of a skirt or the like, stick with thinner fabrics to use this technique, but, also, if you will be hemming over any side/back seams (etc), clip off about a 3/4″ of seam allowance (on every seam you’d be hemming over) along the lower edge of the skirt, trimming pretty close to the seam. Otherwise, it gets to bulky to pass through the foot.

Pretty underside of the hem!

Here’s a tip for starting at the very beginning of a straight piece of fabric (not sewing-in-the-round). Starting at the very beginning, fold the ironed edge over again (so, it’s rolled up twice), hold about an inch or so down and place under the foot keeping just the beginning of the fabric rolled twice.


Put your needle down into the top where it’s folded twice…

Then, insert your fabric up and in to the foot again as shown earlier (and below).


Under side…

Top side…

 Note: If you are hemming a garment with the hemmer foot (make sure the fabric isn’t too terribly thick or stretchy), after you cut off the excess fabric (leaving a 3/4″ – 1″ hem allowance, reinforce the bottom of all of the side/back/princess (etc) seams where you just cut off so they don’t come undone when using the hemmer foot. Then, I trim those seam allowances down to about an 1/8″ within the hem allowance only so that they’ll pass through the hemmer foot. If your seams are just too thick to pass through the hemmer foot, leave the needle down in the rolled hem just as you get to your seam, take the rolled fabric out of the front of the foot and flatten it down to go over the seam and then insert your fabric back into the foot. Seams can be tricky! Hopefully that makes sense! Practice, don’t get frustrated!


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