So lets talk about that magic trick called ease stitching or crowd stitching and how to use it when hemming a flared skirt. Hemming an a-line or bias cut skirt or dress can be a bit tricky since you’ll usually end up with surplus fabric at the edge since it’s wider than the area where you turn up the fabric. This was the case with the Burdastyle button front skirt.
Since I’m currently all about trying out new sewing methods I decided to use my beloved ease stitching/crowd stitching method to ease in the hem. And then use the blind hemmer foot to stitch the hem. And it worked brilliantly with zero hand stitching involved! So I thought I should share my method for easing a flared hem.
1. Prepare for the ease stitch
Set the machine on straight stitching, a smaller stitch will create more gathers. Here I used the default stitch length and it worked well. Press a little piece of fabric against the back of the presser foot with your index fingers.
2. Begin ease stitching
Start sewing while gently but firmly pressing the finger. This will ease the fabric making the edge smaller. The fabric fold will grow gradually and after a little while I release the finger and let the fold go and then start fresh with a new small fold. I don’t have an exact point where I let the fabric go and start again, it’s just based on trying and see how it feels. The more you press the more the fabric will shrink. This is also a really great way to ease in a sleeve or getting a neckline that has grown into shape again.
Check the hem and see that it lines up, if not you can always repeat the process.
3. Machine blind stitch the hem
I love, love, love my blind hemmer presser foot. The trick to get invisible stitching is to carefully adjust the stitch width so that the needle just touches a few strands of the fabric. I like to sew the blind stitch over a flat looked seam because that hides the stitching well.
4. Inside the finished hem
Can you spot the subtle gathers? They are definitely there but they won’t show up on the right side of the skirt, which is all that matters.
5. Hem from the right side
As you can see the hem is really curved, so I had plenty of extra fabric to gather, but thanks to the ease stitch method I made all that surplus fabric disappear!