Hemstitching is a method of hemming in which a few parallel threads are drawn, the hem turned to the line thus formed, and hemmed down with the same stitch that separates the cross threads in successive clusters. There are several modifications of the hemstitch. The following methods have been selected as being the best for four reasons: (1) The thread is thrown under the edge of the hem, and consequently wears longer and shows less. (2) The only part of the thread showing on the right side is the loop around the cross threads. (3) It is readily taught to children, as it is simple, easy to remember, and can be given as two distinct parts. (4) It is the natural way to hold the hem.
a. Drawing the threads - Measuring from the edge of the cloth, allow twice the width of the desired hem when finished, plus the first fold, and draw several threads, the exact number depending upon the texture of the fabric. Draw the first thread the entire length before starting the second, as it is liable to break where the first one did. The first thread being drawn, the second will come more readily. Beginners are inclined to draw too many threads. Unless both edges are to be hemstitched the opening should be narrow enough so that the threads at the top will not loosen.
b. The Hem - Turn the first fold of the hem and baste to the exact line of the opening. Careful basting is indispensable to good hemstitching, and especially so at a corner where two hems cross. Miter all corners of hems that are more than one-fourth of an inch in width.
c. The Stitch - Hold the cloth over the left forefinger as in ordinary hemming. Bury the knot by inserting the needle under the edge of the hem and drawing it through. The stitch consists of two distinct parts, (1) forming the loop around the cross threads, and (2) catching down to the edge of the hem:
(1) Pointing the needle toward you and holding the thread under the left thumb, take up on the needle three or four of the cross threads. Draw the needle out ever the thread, thus forming the loop, and tight enough to separate the cross threads.
(2) Insert the needle under the edge of the hem only and take an ordinary hemming stitch. Repeat 1 and 2 for the next stitch.