Rolled hem feet come in a variety of sizes depending on the brand. The most common sizes are 2mm, 4mm and 6mm. The 2mm is best for lightweight fabrics, while the 4mm and 6mm work best on various light- to mediumweight fabrics. Test-stitch the fabric and choose the size that yields the best results.
The rolled hem foot is easily recognizable by its characteristic coil or scroll where the fabric is inserted. The foot underside is engineered with a notched channel that allows the rolled fabric to easily glide through without getting caught. The channel width varies depending on the foot size.
The foot underside shows the rolled hem size (1).
In some cases, the foot has the option of a straight or zigzag stitch opening. The most common rolled hem foot is a medium zigzag foot. A rolled hem foot usually comes standard with many machines, but check to see what other sizes your sewing machine dealer carries.
Generic versions are available that attach directly to the machine like presser feet, but may require an adapter.
Attach the rolled hem foot to the machine and thread the machine, matching the thread and fabric color. Ready the hem by folding the raw edge toward the wrong side. The fold width depends on the foot being used. Fold again, and then finger-press to crease the fabric. Insert the folded raw edge into the foot coil and begin sewing (2).
The hem continues to roll easily with the help of the foot as the machine stitches. A straight stitch is commonly used to hold a rolled hem in place, but a decorative stitch is also suitable.
Attaching Flat Lace
Use a rolled hem foot to attach lace and roll the fabric raw edge. Pin the lace approximately ⅜” from the raw edge. Double-fold the fabric raw edge for the first few inches of the hem; finger-press (3).
Load the fabric and lace into the foot and begin stitching, continuing to curl the fabric and guide it as the machine advances. The lower fabric rolls over the lace and finishes the edge.
Using the rolled hem foot for a French seam is similar to attaching lace. Place
the fabric with right sides together, with the upper fabric pinned approximately ⅜” from the lower fabric raw edge. Double-fold the lower fabric and finger-press, encasing the upper fabric (4).
Load the fabric into the foot and begin stitching, continuing to curl and guide the fabric as the machine advances.
The rolled hem foot is great for finishing table linen edges, but sewing corners can be tricky. The rolled hem foot can’t accommodate the bulk of a previously rolled edge and may jam inside the presser foot. Follow one of the following methods:
For a second edge to be rolled, double fold the first few inches of the raw edge and finger-press, but don’t load the fabric into the foot. Instead, place the folded fabric under the presser foot and position the fabric ⅜” from the edge, with the needle positioned to stitch in the hem center (5).
Begin by stitching in reverse to the fabric end, and then continue forward. Stitch for another 4 to 5 stitches, and then end with the needle down. Lift the presser foot and slip the fabric into the foot; lower and continue to sew, curling the fabric and guiding it as the machine advances. Repeat to stitch each corner.
To finish the last corner, end a few inches before the corner. With the needle down, lift the presser foot and unload the fabric from the foot. Lower the presser foot and continue to stitch the folded fabric to the end; backstitch to finish.
Depending on the machine and fabric, a corner may still get caught or jammed under a presser foot. In this case, finish the two opposite longest sides with the rolled hemmer foot. To finish the ends and corners, double-fold the raw edge toward the wrong side and press, keeping the hem straight.
Attach a standard presser foot and adjust the needle position to the right. Place the pressed edge right side up underneath the presser foot. Position the fabric ⅜” from the edge and begin stitching. Stitch in reverse until you reach the back edge, and then continue stitching forward along the length of edge; backstitch to finish.
- Use the following tips for a perfect rolled hem every time.
- Use the rolled hem foot on curved and bias edges by running a row of staystitching, approximately 10 stitches per inch, ⅛” from the raw edge to stabilize the fabric while sewing.
- Use the needle-down feature on the machine when using the rolled hem foot so stitching won’t be interrupted if you have to stop and reposition.
- If you rip fabric to find the grain, trim away the fine hairs from the edge prior to stitching with the rolled hem foot so they don’t get caught in the foot coil.
- Use a drop of seam sealant at the corners to prevent the chance of unraveling during laundering. When using seam sealant, squeeze a drop of the liquid from the bottle while it’s upright. Touch the fabric to the top of the bottle. This prevents a puddle of seam sealant on your work.
Learn to Sew With Your Feet, Debra Justice: 2009, Labours of Love; Abbotsford, BC, laboursoflove.com.
Bernina USA provided rolled hem feet:
Husqvarna Viking provided a rolled hem foot:
(800) 446-2333, husqvarnaviking.com.
Labours of Love provided a rolled hem foot:
(800) 853-8537, laboursoflove.com.
Pfaff provided a rolled hem foot: (800) 446 -2333, pfaffusa.com.
Singer provided a rolled hem foot: (800) 474-6437, singer.com.