This tutorial will show how to sew the lettuce hem on a sewing machine. The lettuce edge hem stitch is typically found on little girls' clothing, as it makes a feminine ruffled edge.
To sew a lettuce hem, a stretchy fabric such as a knit is necessary. This is because the fabric must be stretched while sewing. Once the fabric relaxes, it curls.
Where did the lettuce hem come from?
This hem was invented by Stephen Burrows, an African-American designer, in the 1970s. Burrows had a love of exaggerating and elaborating stitching. He used colorful threads and left them showing in his work instead of hiding them.
The lettuce edge hem is a zig-zag stitch, which became Burrows' signature style.
Learn more about sewing the lettuce hem with a machine by watching our video through the link below or continue reading this page.
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WHAT YOU NEED to sew a lettuce Hem:
- Stretchy, knit fabric
- Threaded sewing machine
INSTRUCTIONS on how to sew a lettuce hem on a sewing machine
STEP 1: Fold the fabric on the hem line
Fold the stretchy fabric on the hem line, leaving about a half-inch as the hem allowance.
Flip the fabric to the front. The lettuce edge hemming will be done with the right side of the fabric facing up.
STEP 2: Prepare the machine to sew the lettuce hem
The stitch used for the lettuce hem is the zig-zag stitch. Usually, the sewing machine is set to the narrowest and shortest zig-zag stitch possible. However, it is important to practice until you find the stitch length and width that you prefer.
For this tutorial, a wide zig-zag stitch is used for ease of demonstration.
step 3: begin sewing the lettuce hem
Put the fabric under the sewing machine presser foot and back tack.
While sewing, use your hands to pull the fabric from both the front and the back to stretch the knit.
The more the fabric is stretched, the curlier the hem will be.
While stitching, the needle should fall off of the fabric on one side and stitch onto the fabric on the other. As the stitching continues, the curl on the hem will become visible.
If the lettuce edging is not curly enough, simply go back over the stitching once again to form a curlier hem.
The photo below shows a lettuce edge hem stitched on two sides of a piece of fabric.
The photo below shows the fabric from the back.
step 4: Trim the material close to the lettuce hem stitching line
Turning the fabric over, there will be the wide hem left. Using scissors, carefully trim the fabric as close to the stitching line as possible without cutting through the stitching.
Congratulations! The lettuce hem is complete! Such a cute hem for a feminine look! The photo below shows the finished hem from the front.
And below is the back showing the trimmed hem.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on sewing the lettuce hem stitch with a sewing machine. Try this technique out! The result is so cute and curly!
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Other stitching and hemming links:
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