As promised, the photos to accompany my hand-hemmed handkerchief workshop that I taught at Costume College over the weekend.
|'Squaring' your piece of fabric by drawing out a single thread.|
|Cutting along the cut line left by drawing that single thread gives you a perfectly straight line.|
|Measuring in one inch to draw another thread, then drawing three more threads|
towards the center of your work, giving you a 'ditch' of drawn threads.
|Gently unfold your edges and identify the outermost square out of the nine part square left in each corner. Carefully trim this square of linen out to reduce bulk at your corners.|
|Refolding the hem and pining in place. Press with the iron if necessary.|
|Anchor a single length of waxed thread inside the folded hem where it won't be seen.|
Your thread should come out of the folded edge near the gap made by the crossed ditches.
|To begin your first stitch, take the needle down through the gap, going under four threads, then coming back up.|
|Gently tug the thread to the right to make a small gap between threads.|
|Take the needle back down through your first hole, then back up through the second, re-tracing the original path. Only this time, when you come back up to the top side of the work, catch a thread or two of the folded edge of the hem with your needle.|
|Your thread has wrapped around the four threads in your ditch, pulling them into a wedge shape.|
This is the end of the two parts of the hem stitch.
|To begin the next stitch, take the needle down through what WAS your second gap from your first set of stitches.|
|The second part of the second hemstitch on this example.|
|When you get towards the end of a row, you will be picking up a few threads from the cross-ditch instead of a folded edge.|
|To continue the hemstitch across the corner, use your needle like an awl to shimmy a hole four-threads wide,|
by deep enough to encompass all three of the layers folded up at this point.
|When you've completed your row, you can either pass your thread through the middle of the corner and begin work on your next row, or you can anchor the thread by taking 3 or four short stitches back and forth within the corner.|
|If you decide that this corner nonsense is too fiddly, don't sweat it. You can also secure the hem on the corners with a series of neat whip stitches. Only someone examining your work very closely would be able to tell.|
|It's not such a big deal on work with a narrow hem, but if you're doing something larger like a table cloth or pillow case, you can use a whip stitch to close up the open edge at the corner. Totally up to you.|