How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY11

Compare: Rolled Hem Foot, Ball Hemmer Foot, and Spring Hemmer Foot on an Industrial Sewing Machine

How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY26There are so many sewing machine feet to choose from, it can get overwhelming deciding which foot is best for the job.  Why bother, right?  If using a specific foot for a specific job could drastically cut the sewing time down and offer professional looking results, wouldn’t you want to try?  I sure would.

Home sewing machines usually come with a fabulous manual explaining what each foot is for and a tutorial explaining how to use it.  Industrial machines don’t always offer such advice, at least mine didn’t.  With a 5 page manual, written in a language I don’t speak, I am surprised I got the thing put together in the first place!  I don’t use this machine as frequently as all the others, mainly because it’s loud, doesn’t have a thread cutting feature and I don’t have any accessories for it.  I bought it for speed and that it has.

Scanning the list of additional feet for industrial machines, I found the feet to be are very inexpensive, but again I ran into the issue of which foot is the right foot for the job.  I thought I would start testing some of these feet and share with you my findings.

A Narrow Rolled Hem

I sew a lot of garments with sheer fabrics (especially this months wardrobe challenge;  Dress the Part) and my go-to stitch is usually a narrow rolled hem on the serger – its super fast and looks professional.  But sometimes a rolled hem on the sewing machine would be more appropriate. I found 3 different feet for the industrial machine:

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From left to right: Rolled Hem Foot, Ball Hemmer Foot, Double Fold Spring Hemmer Foot

Rolled Hem Foot

You have probably seen the Rolled Hem Foot, as it comes with most home sewing machines.  This is the only foot I had ever seen used for the job.  It does make a rolled hem easy, but has its challenges as well.  Getting over thick seams can be interesting and sometimes the fabric doesn’t feed evenly.  Of course there are tricks:How to sew a double fold narrow hem DIY35

  • Hold the fabric to the left side of the foot as it feeds into the machine and trimming seam allowances for less bulk.

 

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Results:  A nice rolled hem, I had to use the tweezers to get the fabric started and the rolled hem is a little uneven.  With practice this foot will work.

If you have an industrial machine, you have more options and each offers different results:

Ball Hemmer Foot

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This foot has a plate that covers the front feed dogs allowing the fabric to feed perfectly.  You can see the ball at the tip of the foot, the fabric will roll over that ball as it double folds into a narrow hem.  I must say, I love this foot!  This is how it works:

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  • Feed the fabric into the foot, above the plate.  Notice how the place covers the front feed dogs. Insert the fabric the same way you would for the rolled hem foot.

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  • The fabric folds over the ball.

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  • Hold the fabric a little to the left side of the foot as the fabric feeds into the foot (as shown above).  Stitch.

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  •  Results:  A perfect narrow hem!  This foot offers the easiest rolled hem I have ever tried!  I hardly had to do anything with the fabric except guide it into the foot.  I even sewed at a high-speed and the rolled hem is perfectly even.  A definite A+++++

Double Fold Spring Hemmer Foot

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The “spring” part is what intrigued me about this foot.  You can see the foot looks very similar to the Ball Hemmer Foot, yet there is not a ball.  Instead, there is a movable area that the fabric will go through. Look closely, this is the back of the foot:

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Looking at the left photo first: see the corner touching my finger tip.  When I do nothing with that corner, the opening on the foot remains unchanged (see opening at yellow arrow).

Take a look at the right photo:  Here I have pushed that corner in and the opening gets larger (see yellow arrow).

Now we know what the “spring” means.  This opening adjusts for the thickness of fabric as the fabric flows through.

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  • There is a plate protecting the fabric from the front feed dogs, just like the ball hemmer.  Slide the fabric on the top of the plate.

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  • Again, feed the fabric into the foot and stitch.

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Results:  Another perfect rolled hem!  Just as easy as the ball hemmer foot.

My favorite foot for the rolled hem on silk charmeuse is the Ball Hemmer Foot. The rolled hem was a little thicker than the other two and perfect!

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What about crossing seams and thicker fabrics?  I will test these and more, and let you know the results.  So far both feet are winners!

I also have to check to see if these feet will work on my Brother PQ1500.  The PQ1500 straight stitch machine is just like an industrial machine with speed and ease of use, plus it’s not attached to a large table and easy to move around.  Fingers crosses on that one!  Otherwise, I have my eye on the Brother Industrial Machine used on Project Runway.  Do you have an industrial machine? Have you tried these rolled hem feet?

Cheers!

Angela Wolf

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “Compare: Rolled Hem Foot, Ball Hemmer Foot, and Spring Hemmer Foot on an Industrial Sewing Machine”

  1. Angie Does Winn still own mercy bldging ? If he does if like to speak with him. Can u give me his number? If not do u know who owns it now? Thanks Hilda

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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  2. Angela,

    You are right the industrial machine is loud and fast. Mine is second hand from a retired upholsterer. Yes, it came with one straight stitch foot. The new ones have greatly improved.

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  3. Thanks for the info! Where can we find a ball rolled hem foot? I googled it with no luck. I wonder if I can find a universal one for my low shank machine….

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  4. Are these industrial feet high shank or low shank? I’ve heard some industrial feet can be used on older Kenmore machines. Does anyone know if that is true?

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  5. Hi, Angela! I have two Singer home machines: a 7470 and a 9960. Love them both. I have never had much luck with the narrow rolled hemmers, so I would really like to use the ball hemmer and the spring hemmer. From your descriptions, they seem to be easier to use and capable of producing better results than the narrow hemmer. I have seen some of these on Amazon.com, but they are all for industrial single needle machines. Has anyone found any that are compatible with home machines? If so, where can we buy them? There seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for this item. Might be a nice niche for someone who can engineer this thing.

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