| Sewing Patterns for the Modern Woman - Blog Post: Two Ways to Hem the Laurelhurst Cardigan

Two Ways to Hem the Laurelhurst Cardigan

By Allie

Allie is the co-founder of Indiesew and creator of all things pretty on the site. Follow Allie and receive other Indiesew updates by subscribing to the blog.

Indiesew Sewing Tutorials | How to Hem the Laurelhurst Cardigan

When I first started sewing with knits, I was perplexed by how to hem these stretchy garments. In fact, for a long time, I steered clear of knit garments that didn’t have banded hems, simply because I couldn’t figure out how to achieve a crisp hem with stretchy fabric.

But over time and with a lot of practice, I found a few methods for hemming knit garments that work well for me. When I decided to feature the Laurelhurst cardigan in the 2015 Fall Collection, I was excited to use this pattern as a chance to share the techniques I finally mastered for knit hems.

Kimberly, the designer, wrote this pattern with instructions for leaving the all raw edges of the cardigan unhemmed. Since most knit fabric like jersey rolls at the raw edges, this creates a beautiful alternative to a finished hemmed edge of a garment.

But for those interested in a more finished hem, today I’ll show you the single-fold and double-fold method for hemming knits.

For this tutorial I'll be using our Charcoal Rayon Lycra Jersey. I'll be using the techniques below to hem around the bottom hem, the front wrap panels, and the neckline of the Laurelhurst. You should hem your cardigan after sewing the short vertical seam on page six of the pattern instructions.



In this pattern, Kimberly mentions that you can finish your Laurelhurst hem with a single fold hem, which I find is the easiest and quickest way to hem knit garments. Using this method, your hem will show an exposed raw (or serged) edge on the inside of the hem, but will look polished and finished from the right side of the fabric.

First, press your hem towards the wrong side of the fabric by your desired hem width. You may need to use spray starch if the rolled edges of the fabric make it difficult to work with.

Press raw edge of knit fabric towards wrong side

If the edges of your knit fabric are rolling considerably, you can also serge the raw edge of the fabric and press it towards the wrong side of the fabric. This is my preferred method for the single fold hem, as the serged stitch allows the edges of the knit fabric to lie flat.

Serge raw edge and press towards wrong side | Indiesew blog

Next, change your stitch settings to a stretch stitch. I use a narrow and long zig-zag stitch with the following settings:

Indiesew Sewing Tutorial | Zig-Zag Stitch Settings

Finally, stitch the hem down from the right side of the fabric with a seam allowance slightly smaller than the width of your hem.

Sew single fold hem with zig-zag stitch

Press your finished hem. It should look like this from the right side...

Finished single fold hem | Laurelhurst Cardigan

...and like this from the wrong side of the fabric:

Finished single-fold hem |





Another way to create a finished hem on knit garments is to use a double-fold hem. For those that prefer an even more finished look to their knit garments, this method is ideal. The raw edges of your fabric will be encased in the hem, so that your hem looks polished from both the right and wrong side of your fabric.

First, serge the raw edge of the hem.

Serge raw edge of knit fabric | Double Fold Hem

Then fold the hem up by the width of the serger stitch and press. Fold up again by that same width and press.

Press Double Fold Hem |

Using the same stitch settings as the single-fold hem, sew your double-fold hem down from the right side of the fabric. Because the width of my serger stitch is 1/4”, I’m sewing the hem down with a slightly shorter 1/8” seam allowance.

Stitch double-fold hem down |

Your finished hem should look like this on the right side...

Double Fold Hem | Using Knit Fabrics

...and like this from the wrong side of the fabric:

Double Fold Hem | Laurelhurst Cardigan

When fully hemmed, my Laurelhurst looks like this:

Laurelhurst Wrap Cardigan | Straight Stitch Designs

I added 4” to the length of this cardigan so that it extends to my mid-thighs. This drapey cardigan is ideal for my work-from-home lifestyle. It looks great worn with a pair of leggings and my Beatrix as shown above.

And with a pair of jeans and boots, it transitions well to coffee meetings or dinner.

Laurelhurst Sewing Pattern | Straight Stitch Designs

If you haven't yet, check out the Laurelhurst cardigans that our Fall Collection bloggers have sewn!

Laurelhurst Creations |

There are three great bloggers left on our Fall Collection Blog Tour so stay tuned for lots of autumn wardrobe inspiration! Here's the full schedule if you need to catch up.

2015 Fall Collection | Blog Tour Schedule

And don’t forget to tag your Fall Collection creations with #indiesewfallcollection on Instagram and Facebook

Happy sewing! 

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Use these simple techniques to finish the raw edges of your Laurelhurst cardigan for a polished look. |

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