A rolled hem is a thin, turned edge used on fabrics for home decor, curtains, and garments. This hem is most appropriate for thin or sheer fabrics. Rolled hems are nearly invisible and provide a lightly weighted edge to help sheer fabric hang straight. These hems are quick to make using a sewing machine's specialised rolled hem presser foot. Making this hem well takes practice, but mastering the technique is a worthwhile pursuit that helps you achieve a professional, tailored finish for your projects.
Attach your rolled hem presser foot to your sewing machine according to the instructions in the owner's manual. Set your sewing machine to create a small, straight centred stitch. Insert a size 9 needle of a brand compatible with your machine into the needle holder.
Trim off the bottom edge of the fabric to remove any frayed or uneven edges, and make sure the bottom edge is straight.
Fold the bottom raw edge of the sheer fabric over 1/8 inch toward the wrong side of the fabric and press into place with an iron. Set the iron on a cool, polyester setting and press very lightly with a press cloth over the fabric to iron the fold in place.
Place the fabric under the rolled hem foot with the folded edge facing up. Align the folded edge with the centre of the foot. Pull the raw edge of the folded fabric up into the rounded, spiral guide on the rolled hem foot--this curved section folds the fabric over again as you stitch to conceal the raw edge.
Sew the hem slowly, feeding the raw edge gently into the curve of the hem foot with your left hand as you go. Check behind the presser foot after you have gone a few inches to ensure the fabric has looped completely around in the curved section and been sew down with the raw edge concealed.
Hem the full length of the sheer fabric slowly, stopping periodically to make sure that the fabric has rolled all the way over continuously. When used correctly, the rolled hem presser foot produces a narrow, neat 1/8-inch folded hem. Stop and adjust your hem as necessary or if the fabric becomes unrolled.
Using the rolled hem foot to make a consistent, straight hem takes practice. Make several practice hems on scrap fabric of the same weight as your project before you start your actual project. Small size 9 needles are designed not to leave holes in sheer fabric, so take the time to locate and use one.