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Blog + Tips




Filtering by Tag: sewing with knit fabrics

Sewing knit hems with a three-thread serger edge

Christine Jonson Patterns

Valentine's Day One Seam Wrap

Super quick and easy 3-thread edge serge finish

By: Christine Jonson


This technique works especially well for light to medium weight sweater knits where a traditional hem is not best. I love this Missoni-ish fabric that is in my current collection, and thought it would be the perfect Valentine's Day topper in the reds and pink colorway. This wrap (One Seam Wrap from #1117) has only one seam that needs to be stitched for the underarm/sleeve. Once that is sewn the rest of the work is the edge stitching or rolled hem.

Here's what you need:
3 cones of thread
1/8" bias fusible seam tape
Rolled hem foot and plate

The Outfit...

I paired the One Seam Wrap with my Ruched Skirt(free pattern in the tips & how-to) made with black rayon jersey and the Keyhole Top (sleeveless and without keyhole) made with a wonderful textured knit from my stash.

Since I want this for Valentine's Day I chose a variety of red and pink threads to choose from then made my decision.

I changed the plate and foot on my serger for a rolled hem and did a few test samples to achieve the perfect stitch.

This is my Brother serger which I bought in 1980! I love it and it has given me years of excellent performance.

I cut the 1/4" bias tape in half because I only need it to be as wide at the rolled edge and don't want it to show on the wrong side. You can use fusible interfacing cut on the bias for this step as well.

Carefully press the bias tape along the edge of the wrap on the wrong side.

Press this on all the way around.

Edge serge on the right side of the fabric without cutting any fabric off. I flip the knife up and out of the way to be sure.

I control how thick the thread is on the edge of the fabric by pulling it slightly with my left hand as I guide the fabric with both hands.

Alternative Hems for Knit Fabrics

Christine Jonson Patterns

Optional Hems for Knits

By Jan Raley

I love the look of a perfectly executed twin-needle topstitched hem.  I don’t seem to have any problem accomplishing this on cotton/lycra, double knits and some sweater knits.  However,  my sewing machine refuses to cooperate when I try to do this on lightweight knits like rayon jersey or ITY knits no matter how much I loosen or tighten the bobbin and/or needle threads.  Here are some alternative methods if the twin needle is just not working for you.

Hemming Knit Fabrics


Serged Hem

I discovered this method in my latest copy of Sew News.  This results in a ‘faux band’ look or a seamline at the stitching line.

Keep in mind that this method will result in the final length being 1/2” shorter, so remember to mark your hem 1/2” longer than your desired length.

  • Press the hem as usual to the wrong side of the garment.
Hemming Knit Fabrics
  • Turn the garment right side up and flip the hem allowance to the right side.  There will be a folded edge with the raw edge sitting on top.
Hemming Knit Fabrics
  • Serge along the folded edge through all 3 layers shaving off a tiny bit.  The settings on my serger were Left Needle N, Right Needle N, Upper Looper 1.3, Lower Looper N, Stitch Width and Length both N and the Differential Feed at 1.3
Hemming Knit Fabrics
  • Press hem flat with the seam allowance pressed away from the hem.  The right side has a seamline and the look of a band.  The wrong side has a serged seam.
Hemming Knit Fabrics
Hemming Knit Fabrics


Decorative Serged Hem

This method was born of the desire to have a finished look on both sides of the garment for my reversible pieces.  It is similar to the Serged Hem, but this serged seam ends up on the right side of the garment and I used Wooly Nylon for a decorative look.

Keep in mind that this method will result in the final length being 1/2” shorter, so remember to mark your hem 1/2” longer than your desired length.

  • Press the hem as usual to the wrong side of the garment.
  • Press 1/4” Steam-a-Seam Lite to the wrong side of the top edge of the hem.  Remove the paper backing and press the hem in place.  I did this in order to keep the raw edge from slipping and to ensure that it would be caught in the serged hem since I can’t see the raw edge in this method.
Hemming Knit Fabrics
  • Fold the hem again toward the wrong side of the garment, enclosing the raw edge of the hem in the fold.
Hemming Knit Fabrics

  • With Wooly Nylon or another decorative thread in the upper looper, serge along the folded edge shaving off a tiny bit as you go.  My serger settings were Needle N, Upper Looper -.3, Lower Looper +1, Stitch Length 1.5, Stitch Width 4.5 and Differential Feed set at 1.5.
  • Just before coming the the end where you meet the start of your serging, disengage the knives.  Continue to serge to meet the beginning.  Loosen the tensions in order to pull the garment away from the serger as opposed to serging off the edge at an angle.  Tie the threads.
  • Press the hem flat with the serged seam away from the hem.  The outside has a decorative line meant to be seen and the inside has a clean seamline.

Zig-Zag Blind Hem

  • Edge serge the lower edge of the garment.
  • Press hem to the wrong side.
  • Place garment wrong side down.  Fold garment back until 1/4” – 3/8” of the serged edge of the hem is visible. 
  • Set the machine for a wide, long zig-zag.  I used a stitch that was 3.5 wide and 6.0 long.  It also helps to use an edge-joining foot.
  • Align the fold to the center blade of the edge joining foot and start the needle just inside the fold.  One side of the zig-zag will catch the serged edge and the other will take a bite into the fold.

  • Press the hem flat.