One of the simplest uses for a pretty piece of fabric is to make a basic square scarf. All you need to do is cut out a square to the size you want and then finish off the edges. But how do you finish the edges? There are a few different ways to do this. You can attach a trim such as lace, you can use an overlocker to sew a rolled hem, you can hand sew a rolled hem (which I showed you how to do here), or you can do a rolled hem on your normal sewing machine. This can be done with a special rolled hem foot, or you can do it with a normal foot, which is what I’m going to show you how to do today. This type of rolled hem is quite simple, and can be used for a variety of applications, such as neat hems for linings or hems lightweight tops or dresses.
Start by cutting out a square of your fabric to 54 cm (21 1/4″), or to whatever size you like. Beginning at one corner, start folding over 3 – 4 mm (1/8″) and pin in place. If you like, you can pin this all the way along that side of the square, although I find it’s sufficient to just pin the first 6 – 8 cm (a few inches) and then fold the rest as I sew. We’re going to sew as close to the folded edge as possible.
Sometimes getting started at the sewing machine can be a little tricky and the machine might try to “eat” the fabric, particularly if it’s light weight or silky. To make this starting point a bit easier, start sewing a few millimetres away from the edge and hold the machine threads behind the foot taut, pulling gently as you start sewing. Once you get started, it’s really very easy! Just take your time and go slowly to sew close to the folded edge.
Once you’ve sewn all the way along one side, use a small pair of scissors trim away the excess fabric. You’ll only be trimming away a tiny bit – about 1 mm or so.
Repeat for the remaining sides, one side at a time, folding over 3-4 mm, sewing close to the folded edge then trimming away the excess fabric.
Once you’ve sewn around all four edges, you’ll need to sew around all four edges again - this two step process creates the neat and secure finish of the rolled hem. So on one edge, fold over the sewn edge by a few millimetres an pin in place. Again, you can just pin the first 6-8 cm (a few inches) and then fold the rest as you sew. Sew exactly on top of the previous row of stitching, all along the length of the edge.
Iron your scarf so the hem sits nice and flat. Now you can wear your new scarf!
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