Things You'll Need
- Threaded 3-thread serger with a rolled hem plate
- Lightweight to medium weight fabric
A rolled hem is a narrow, neat edge finish that rolls under the edge of the fabric and is covered with thread. Rolled hems are used to finish edges of ruffles and hems of scarves, table linens,and some garments. A 3-thread rolled hem is suitable for lightweight to medium weight fabrics.
Start your rolled hem with a balanced overlock stitch. Hold the tail chain at the beginning of the hem so it doesn’t curl into the looper area. Stop after a few stitches when the thread is secured to the fabric.
Adjust the stitch length to under 1 mm for a filled-in edge that is stiff or up to 2 mm for a softer edge that is less filled-in.
Tighten the lower looper thread tension dial for a rounded rolled hem. The upper looper thread will pull around the edge of the fabric to the underside. For a flatter, less rounded rolled hem, tighten the lower looper and also loosen the upper looper thread tension dial.
Place your fabric right side up on your serger and stitch along the hem edge.
Hold the fabric taut or firmly in front of you and behind the presser foot while stitching. Sew at an even speed and do not pull the fabric. This will prevent the seams from puckering.
Before sewing your project, practice stitching on scraps.
The stitch length adjustment is critical to the finished look of the rolled hem stitch. Too short, the stitching may fall off the edge or it may be too heavy for lightweight fabrics, causing a stiffer edge. If too long, the fabric may pucker.
If the fabric puckers while sewing you need to loosen the needle thread tension dial slightly.
- "The New Sewing with a Serger"; Creative Publishing International, Inc.; 1998
Amy Lyn has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and development. She has worked with nonprofit, arts, education and technology organizations. Lyn holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of Massachusetts.