This is process shots of a first try at hemming chiffon using a prepared buckram as a stabilizer.
THIS WORKS. The only attempts I'd made sewing with this technique previously were on straight seams in organza. So what you see are before I'd tried it on the chiffon. Also captured a few mistakes to avoid.
Anyone like sheer fabrics in their finished state but hate working on their wrinkly wormy mess they become when cut? This method is for you.
Here's a picture of the finished hem, so you know I'm not joking around.
Gather your supplies: 1" strip of buckram with threads removed along the lengthwise edge. Number of threads to taste, this example is 1/4" of threads removed lengthwise.
Also a prepared curved hemline. Naturally the less degree of curve, the more successful the technique, but not everyone wants an on grain hem!
Begin by stitching through the fringe you created on your buckram base. I then placed the working fabric under the buckram. This is to keep the stitching area quite visible while working.
This stitching runs pretty exactly along the inner edge of the fringe. It means that as I've stitched them together, the buckram has prevented stretching of the chiffon while under the needle. As you lay it out is as it's stitched. I used this to achieve a perfectly flat hem though I imagine you could use it to create a stretched lettuced hem as well.
Here you can see that the seam allowance edges didn't correctly align to the buckram edge, leaving a small bubble of fabric. This is a degree of distortion that I allowed while handling the fabric to go under the needle. If I'd seen it before hand I could have corrected it.
Here you can see after pressing the way the fringe supports the hem allowance during pressing, and has prevented most wrinkles along the curved hem.
The fringe can pull out during your pressing phase. Here you can see fringe that has escaped the stitching before the second pass.
And now the effect of the uneven seam allowances rears it's small but ugly head.
Unbelievable. I love this technique, and it opens design doors that were previously closed because of my equipment limitations. I think that a rolled hem foot is a good tool for stable fabrics, but for lightweight materials, it will stretch and distort the hem edge despite gentle handling and finish pressing.
How did I get by without it before?