18" Doll Sewing Patterns • Free Tutorials • Sewing with Kids

Classic T-shirt Sleeve Hem

Classic T-shirt Sleeve Hem

The last method I used for this round of T-shirts is the traditional sleeve style, using a stretch twin needle. This is quick and gives the shirt a non-homemade look. Can you tell that is something we care about around here?

Avery Lane sewing tutorial sewing with twin needle on knits

Using the twin needle (sometimes called double needle) to hem knits is super quick and extremely simple. Here are some helpful tips:

✿ Just make sure you are set up correctly–or it can be very frustrating and expensive, as the needles will break. Check out my extensive photo tutorial for threading your machine with a twin needle here.

✿ Make sure you have a stretch twin needle–it has the blue bar above the needles.

✿ Choose the needle width that is best for your fabric or project. 4,0/75 size for medium or heavy weight knits (also for lined garments), a 2,5/75 stretch twin needle works on light weight knit fabrics to avoid tunneling (see the end of this post for examples).

Do not back stitch. To secure your stitches, sew past the point at which you began sewing–about an inch or two will do.

✿ Set your machine to a straight stitch and a long stitch length. I set my machine at a 4 stitch length for light and medium weight knits and a 4.5-5 stitch length for heavier fabrics. I also set it at a 4.5 or 5 stitch length when I sew over elastic, like when I sew puffy sleeves or swimsuits.

✿ When hemming with the twin needle:

✿ Press the hem first. Use an EZY-Hem or sewing gauge to keep it accurate.

✿ Sew the hem with the right side of the fabric facing up (I begin sewing along the back, so the overlapped stitching is in the back of my project).

✿ Sew with the left needle directly on the raw edge (you won’t be able to see this raw edge, but can feel it as you guide your fabric). The closer you are to enclosing the raw edge within the zigzag stitch on the wrong side of your project, the less rolling and flipping your finished hem will do. This takes practice. I like to fold and press 3/8″ for my hems, and line up the fold in the fabric along the 3/8″ seam allowance guide line on my machine.

✿ After sewing the hem, trim any extra fabric (raw edge) close to the stitching on the inside of your project.

I used this method on the sleeves of a couple of the t-shirts I recently sewed. I also hemmed all the shirts with this method. A nice, fast way to finish and looks good, too.

Avery Lane Blog sewing tutorials

Here’s a look at what I’ve got on the chopping block. My daughter also prefers the way handmade feels and looks, so this one is for her. What’s on your cutting table?

avery lane blog sewing tutorials

Happy Sewing!


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