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Hemmer foot for heavy fabrics?
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Eddie Rivera
(eddieruko) - F
Hemmer foot for heavy fabrics? on 04/08/2011 11:33:20 MDT Print View

So I've been working with Cordura lately and realized that putting a hem on the free edges on my fabric is a real pain and time consuming task. I really like the look of a sewn edge versus using a hot knife to finish the edge.

Has anyone had experience using a hemmer foot on heavier fabrics? I've seen videos on delicate fabrics (silk) and it works great. If not, any suggestions or tips?

Jared Dilg
(Village) - MLife

Locale: Texas
Re: Hemmer foot for heavy fabrics? on 04/08/2011 13:01:45 MDT Print View

What weight Cordura are you working with, and where on your piece are these edges?

Heavier Cordura like 500D & 1000D is often finished with grosgrain tape and a folder attachment. This is especially true on the inside seams of a bag.

If you really want to apply a double-hem with a folder and have an industrial machine, this would work:

Eddie Rivera
(eddieruko) - F
Re: Hemmer foot for heavy fabrics? on 04/08/2011 13:30:55 MDT Print View

Currently I'm working with 1000D. Some of these edges are the free ends of 3 pieces layered together... wish I had it available to take a picture, but sewing together and top-stitching isn't an option in some locations.

As I was looking at some articles on sewing techniques and noticed the folding attachment, which would work... only I don't use an industrial machine. Folding edge would work if I could find one to attach to a home machine. It would also make sewing grosgrain a breeze too since I only have the standard presser foot with my machine at the moment.

So far the least time intensive method has been folding over a longer edge and trimming away the excess. It's acceptable for my projects, but not ideal.

Edited by eddieruko on 04/08/2011 13:35:44 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Hemmer foot for heavy fabrics? on 04/08/2011 13:36:54 MDT Print View

I don't understand what the big deal is.

Fold it over twice and sew through it.

As you sew along, fold over the section, maybe 4 inches long, and then sew.

I always have a line on the fabric where I want the edge to be.

It's a little slow, but for any piece of equipment I do it doesn't take long compared to the rest of the project.

Eddie Rivera
(eddieruko) - F
lesson learned on 04/08/2011 14:03:18 MDT Print View

Jerry - Thanks for the suggestion. It probably seems really obvious, but considering that I'm stilling learning to sew (more than merely operating the machine)... didn't exactly occur to me. The patterns that I've created are usually focused on fit first, and then adding any seam allowance on the fabric as I outline. I've been really anxious to complete a project, and I find myself overlooking the need for extra fabric to finish my edges.

peter vacco

Locale: no. california
glue it first ? on 04/08/2011 18:40:01 MDT Print View

i glue a lot of things first. use Steam-a-seam 2 (is cheap) and after finding out just how hot your iron can get and still not melt things, fold yer edge and iron a crease. then use the glue to hold it all together. works like a charm. and .. you can undo stuff if you get baffeled and make things wrong-side-out/backwards/etc. simply re-heat, and pull.
once you get what you like, THEN you sew.
you can save most sewing until the end, which be great.

steamaseam comes in 1/4 and 1/2 widths. the 1/2 is easier to work with. they both function quite nicely.
there should be no gumming up of mechanisms sewing thru cold hot glue. in fact, it stabilizes the material, so you can honk down the tension to get a tighter stitch.
no need for extra foots and sewing toys at this stage. not yet ...
later, as you get to lighter material, one may want a teflon foot for to slide sweeter.


John Canfield
(jcanfield) - F

Locale: Cascadia
baste on 04/08/2011 19:16:08 MDT Print View

+1 to grosgrain. Grosgrain is the industry standard in equipment manufacturing, even over top stitching. You do not need a "folder" to bind with grosgrain. It is easy enough to do on simple seams, but becomes more complex with complex ones. Maintain 1/4 to 3/8 inch seams unless you are making a finished edge, where it is appropriate to double hem.

The exception would be in clothing, where a serger will create a binding that allows the edge to be both protected from unraveling and stretchable, an alternate would be a zig-zag stitch.

Hope this helps!

Eddie Rivera
(eddieruko) - F
Easiest way to bind? on 04/09/2011 09:22:33 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Definitely helps to lean on folks with more experience.

I've got a couple different widths off grosgrain (3/8 and 5/8) and I've yet to successfully bind curves, or even straight edges, without several pins, a lot of patience, and maybe a beer or two.

My machine does have mounting locations for a binding attachment, despite not being an industrial machine. What's the best way to get a great looking binded (sp?) edge without coughing up for more stuff?

I've had some success with folding over (the 5/8) grosgrain, clamping on one edge, and pressing to crease it down the middle. Certainly makes it a little easier to move around edges and enclose the material, but I imagine there are other ways to do this.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Easiest way to bind? on 04/09/2011 09:41:19 MDT Print View

You might do better with 3/4 or even 1" grosgrain since in half they're 3/8 to 1/2" minus the fabric thickness. There are binding presser feet that have a guide to fold the binding tape around the fabric edge..