How to hand sew a blind hem stitch

Using a blind hem stitch is the best way to hem garments without stitches being visible. You might be able to do so using your sewing machine, if you have the right presser foot. But keep in mind that you can only use your machine for heavy fabrics. If you do so for lighter fabrics, you will still see stitches on the outer side of your hem.
In my opinion, the best way to sew a blind hem is doing it by hand. It takes longer, but it looks better. And, on top of that, it’s also a great excuse to what, say, Grey’s anatomy while doing it 😉

Preparations

Before you start, you need to make sure that you have prepared your garment well:

  • Turn your garment inside out.
  • Iron your hem. Make sure that you have at least 0,5 centimeters/0,2 inches hem allowance left (on the inside of your garment).
  • Fix your hem with pins.
  • Get your needle and thread ready. Since this is going to be a blind hem, you can use any colour of thread you like, but I prefer to get a colour that is very similar to the garment. Don’t use too long a thread, or it will get tangled. 50 centimeters/20 inches should do the trick.


Do the hem

  1. Start at a seam. This gives you a better overview of your progress. For trousers, for instance, I always start at the inner leg seam.
  2. Fold the upper bit of the hem allowance towards you and hold it in place with your thumb.
  3. Make a few local stitches to fix your thread.
  4. In the folded-over hem allowance, gently pick up a fibre and pull your needle through.
    blind hem stitch

    Note: As you may be able to see in the picture, I’m left-handed. The right-handed way looks exactly the same way, except that your needle point will look the other way.

  5. In the garment itself, pick up a fibre and pull your needle through.
    blind hem stitch

    Note:

    • If you’re left-handed, move your needle from left to right, but stitch from right to left.
    • If you’re right-handed, move your needle from right to left, but stitch from left to right.
    • Your hand never shadows the stitches you’ve already done.

  6. Repeat steps 4 to 5 until you have completed the hem.
  7. When you have completed the hem, make a few local stitches to fix your thread.

The result looks as follows:

blind hem stitch
Once you fold the hem allowance back in place and turn your garment outside in, no stitches will be visible at all.

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