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How to Make a No-Sew Hem

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Having been short of leg for my entire life, I am no stranger to ill-fitting, too-long pants. Long inseams have plagued me since I started shopping for my own clothing, and I don’t foresee a reprieve any time soon. Back in the day I would merely roll the pants up and accept that the knees of my blue jeans were relegated to my ankles, because there was no way I was going to figure out how to use a sewing machine.


Now that it’s no longer back in the day, I am not quite so afraid of using my sewing machine anymore. However, now that I am sewing more, I find myself hemming more and more things—dresses, skirts, aprons, and of course, pants. Night after night of sewing straight line after straight line, I found myself lamenting “There’s got to be a better way!”


Enter no-sew fusible fabric tape. Fusible tape acts as an adhesive between two pieces of fabric, and it is activated with heat. The most popular brand is called Stitch Witchery. With this no-sew method, you can hem a pair of pants or finish the edges of homemade curtains without the use of a sewing machine or serger.


The Pros:


  • You don’t have to lug around your heavy machine or spend half an hour trying to thread a needle.
  • If you know how to use an iron, you know how to use fusible fabric tape.
  • Hems are neat and clean with no messy, uneven stitches or dangling threads.
  • It’s great for emergency hem repair when you’re traveling.


The Cons:


  • If used on clothing, fusible fabric tape can come undone after multiple trips through the dryer.
  • It shouldn’t be used on light, sheer fabrics because the tape becomes stiff after heat activation.
  • Fabric that has been hemmed with it will not be able to stretch, so it is not useful for most knits.


How to Use Fusible Fabric Tape:


  1. Iron your hem as you would normally do.
  2. Place the tape between the layers of fabric that you want fused together.
  3. Place a damp cloth over the area to be hemmed, then place your hot iron over the damp cloth.
  4. Hold the iron over the damp cloth for several seconds, and then remove the cloth.
  5. Iron directly onto the fabric you are hemming until you are sure the tape has melted.
  6. Be careful not to move the fabric around too much until the adhesive is dry and secure.


It really is that easy! So if you’re too scared to dust off the ol’ sewing machine, or you just don’t have time, or you’re on vacation sans needle and thread (but somehow remember to bring your Stitch Witchery), use this no-sew hemming method and you won’t have to buy stilts to make your favorite pants fit.


What other no-sew shortcuts have you learned?


Originally published on FaveCrafts

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