How to do a blind hem stitch

A blind hem stitch can be used for many applications, such as hemming garments or curtains. It’s useful when you don’t want to see a line of stitching on the outside of the finished product. 

It seems tricky, but once you understand how the fabric is folded and the basic idea behind the stitch (tacking), you’ll have it down in no time.

I was working on some curtains for an upcoming post and realized I hadn’t covered this before, so I thought it was time for a tutorial.



(Click fabrics for direct links for purchase at Warehouse Fabrics Inc.)

OD Sundeck Robins Egg

Blind hem foot
A blind hem foot has room for a wide zigzag stitch and also has an adjustable roller so you can move the fabric guide to exactly where you want it.

The process


The confusing part of a blind hem stitch is how to fold the fabric. At left, you’ll see I have turned my fabric twice. You could also just turn it once and finish the raw edge with a serger. This is what I recommend on a pair of pants because it will create a less bulky hem. 

So, however you do it, get to this point and then start to turn it as seen in the picture at the top right. We are viewing the fabric from the wrong side.

In the left picture, I have turned my fabric so that the “pressed hem” portion is now on the bottom and the remainder of the fabric is to the left. In the picture at right, I have basically taken it just as seen to the left and stuck it under my presser foot. 

You don’t want to press that fold above because it’s not permanent. You just want to fold it back so that part of the pressed hem is showing.

Set your machine to the blind stitch setting. Refer to your manual if you aren’t sure, since all machines are different.

Next, adjust the roller on your blind hem presser foot so that it acts as a guide on the right-hand edge of the fabric. In conjunction with this, you’ll also adjust your zigzag stitch so that it does a narrow zigzag on the pressed hem portion to the right and then every so often jumps out to the left and tacks the main piece of fabric that is flowing over to the left. You can test it by turning the hand crank to see where the needle will go in. Set your stitch longish if you want the tacks to be farther apart. The tacks are all you will see from the right side.

You are aiming to have the needle jump out to the left and tack on just the very, very edge of that fold on the left. If you go in any farther, it will show on the front too much.

Here, you can see the stitches. In the picture on the left, I used matching thread. That is imperative if you don’t want your stitches showing. 

In the picture on the right, I used contrasting thread so you can see better what it looks like. See how it’s a narrow zigzag in the margin and then it jumps over and tacks the fold to the left?

This is the view from the right side of the fabric. At left is contrasting thread, so you can see where I got a nice, small tack. And you an also see what happens when you tack in too far. 

At right it is shown with matching thread, so you can’t see much. If you widen your stitch length, these would be spaced out farther and even less detectable. Then press, and you’re done!