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  1. Hi, Louise, I left a comment on your utube video of hemming chiffon wedding dress but wanted to make sure you get the question...could you show us in a video how you serge and hem would be most helpful and thank you... I have just recently started a home alteration and embroidery business...

  2. Hello Tonya,

    I did not get a notice of your comment - not sure why....its a good thing you emailed!

    I am not sure when I will have a chance to do a video, so I will try and explain how to do it.

    I mark the hem while the person is wearing the dress - making sure she is standing straight and not looking down, as this will affect the hem length. I fold the excess hem amount up and pin it in place with straight pins.

    Then I lay the dress on the table, and place pins on the fold on the wrong side of the fabric. This marks the final hem length. Then I unpin the excess hem length. After this, I place pins on the right side of the fabric, where the pins on the wrong side are marking the hemline, and then I remove the pins that are on the wrong side. In this way I keep the hemline true to the length that I pinned during the fitting.

    The next step is to fold the hem excess to the wrong side on the line marked by the pins, keeping a smooth hemline between the pins. I press this fold with the iron, and remove the pins.

    I then serge the hemline about 1/4" longer than the hemline, using matching thread colour. Three threads are enough for this. The fold is your guide. Just go carefully to keep it even as you serge.

    I then may lightly press the fold again if needed. After this I take it to the sewing machine and sew the hem allowance in place, turning it up along the fold, stitching a little inside the edge of the serging - just a bit less than 1/4" in from the fold. The hem may be sewn from the wrong side or you can sew it from the right side, folding the hem allowance under as you go, and going by feel and/or sight to know where to stitch, and using the edge of the presser foot as a reference.

    The advantage of sewing from the good side is that the feed dog on the machine helps to feed the serged edge in more smoothly. The serged edge has a bit more fullness in places, by comparison to where you are stitching, and it may not want to lie as flat as you want, or stay in place when stitching on the wrong side.

    I smooth the fabric as I go; and if little puckers may start to develop, I lift the presser foot up for a second and then let it down, which allows the fabric to relax, and lie flatter, especially when stitching on the bias. You can stretch the fabric a little as you stitch between your hands - one in front, and one behind the presser foot, to keep a little tension on the fabric so as to have a smoother result.

    Once you have finished sewing the hem, press it to set the hem and smooth out any little puckers that there may be.

    In fact, quite often I will do a rolled edge on the satin, in the same way as I do for chiffon as in the video. If the satin is a heavier weight, a serged hem may be easier to do

    Practice on a piece of satin first, (using the excess of the hem is a good place if it is long enough) on the straight and on the bias.
    Let me know how you get along, and if you have more questions.

    Louise MacAdam

    1. Thank you again so much, I think I got it. Its very much appreciated! I worked in 3 sewing factories over the years but I never did any hemming, other than on my own dresses.. the Serger was the machine I used most at work tho! I have had a lot of request for hemming wedding and formal wear. God Bless!