How To Sew The Lettuce Hem
Making clothes for yourself or your family is fun and rewarding. The
best part of this hobby is the freedom it grants you in adding or
removing everything you like.
I have been sewing for some time I can say for sure that I hate the
method of hemming knit fabrics with topstitching. The most obvious
downside of this is the garment will have a shabby look after just a few
times in the washing machine.
My go-to substitute here is the lettuce hem.
When I got used to the technique, I found myself unable to stop adding
it to my every project. What I like to do is to use a decorative thread
with a contrasting color with the fabric. However, make sure that you
have enough thread in stock as this method will consume a lot.
Lettuce hem on clothes
A lettuce hem can be made with either a serger or a sewing machine
but in this article, I will show you how to do it with the latter as not
every sewist has a serger at home. This is an easy technique so even a
A serger will make things easier for you but it is not strictly required.
Making lettuce hem is possible with a sewing machine. All you need is
an additional step but there is no difference in the result.
Before we get to the instruction, let me tell you a little bit about the
Sew On The Edge
Every time you apply a lettuce hem, make sure that you do it right on
its edge. Another thing to remember is to wrap it to prevent it from
Do Not Use Just Any Needle
Choose a needle according to the fabric you are sewing. For knit
variety, a ballpoint or stretch one is advisable. Wovens call for universal
variety. Minding the type of needle will save you from a lot of stress
This technique does not call for a specific type if needle so all you have
to do is to find the most suitable one for your fabric.
Pay Attention To The Type Of Fabrics
Lettuce hem looks best on light to medium weight fabrics. For example,
I have used jerseys and some woven ones and the result is fabulous.
This technique will not look as beautiful on heavyweight fabrics as on
You want to go for a type of fabric that looks nice on both sides,
double-sided fabrics for example. The reason here is the back side of
the fabric will show. This is why you want to avoid print fabrics.
For Knit Fabric
For knit fabric, you want to find the cross-grain and sew along that line.
This is the direction that fabric stretches the most.
If you have to hem around a corner or a piece of garment that on one
side, it is cross grain but on the other, it is on grain, you may want to
find another hemming method.
Lettuce hem on knit fabrics
For Woven Fabrics
A lettuce hem will not look good if the edge in any way other than bias
A Few Notes
To sew a lettuce hem, pull before and after the foot but remember to
be gentle or you will break the needle. Try to be consistent with your
force or your product will look wonky. The more you pull, the wavier
the hem so you may want to test first with different level of force to
see what is best on your project.
Lettuce hem is not a hard technique to master. What you need is two
simple to do tips:
[*]Do not pull right when you sew. You want to
How To Sew A Lettuce Hem With A Sewing Machine
wait until you sew for about one inch and then stretch the fabric.[*]The
fabric tends to shift to the left-hand side so you want to pull it gently to
the other way or your thread will break free from the fabric.
Set your machine to sew zigzag stitch, satin or column stitch, depend
on what your machine has. These stitches can be found on most
modern machines on the market. I know how hard it can be to land the
machine that will be your best companion when you advance deeper
into the world of sewing, so here is a guide on
How To Find
The Best First Sewing Machine And Easy Sewing Machine For
to help you with this essential step.
Here are the settings to follow:
You want to use the settings for buttonholes for sewing lettuce hem.
However, this is not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing so always test
before you sew on the project:
[*]Wide-stitch: 4 or 5 so that it will
show.[*]Short stitch: 0 or 1 so that the stitches will be filled better.
To handle the fabric better, first, you want to fold the edge back to the
wrong side. The best width is a scant ¼”.
When you have done with everything, turn the project to the other side
and check if you need to trim away the exceeding fabrics. The sooner
you do this the better as certain fabrics get curlier over time.
Trimming is time-consuming but it is worth the effort as no one wants
to sew directly on the raw edge. For example, lettuce hem on the
unfolded edge of jersey fabric will curl more than you want it to and
show the other side.
You may notice at first that the lettuce hem does not look very nice or
curvy the moment you pull it out of the sewing machine. However, if
you wait for a few minutes, you will see the project gets the shape you
What I usually use here is zigzag stitches and I recommend you to use
it too because this type of stitch is available even on a best entry level
sewing machine, which I have a collection here