Serger Basics - Rolled Edge Hems

Hi Everyone! In Part 2 of Serger Basics, Donna is joining us again as we take a look at sewing rolled edge hems. 

In this video, we will be focusing on the rolled edge hem.  I chose this stitch to be our first focus because the first step in our sew-along pattern is the hem on the ruffles.  That’s where we will use this stitch.  When the serger is set up properly for this stitch, the fabric will be automatically turned under along the raw edge and the upper looper thread will wrap around that small fold creating a beautifully finished tiny hem.

As mentioned in Part 1, we will be using the Sew Urban Savannah Skirt as our sew-along for this topic as it provides several opportunities to try several basic techniques all within one pattern. If you don't have that pattern yet, I encourage you to grab a copy and follow along as we practice these serger techniques together!


What Is a Rolled Edge Why Should I use it? 

The rolled edge hem is created using one needle and two loopers.  It may be that your machine is not capable of a rolled edge stitch, and in that case, you can use a 3 thread overlock to finish the ruffle’s edge.  It may be that on some models of sergers, you need to change out the throat plate, presser foot, or other parts. You’ll need to check your manual for the specifics on how to set up your model of serger for this stitch. 

Follow along in the video below as I walk you through all the details of setting up your machine and sewing the rolled edge hem on the ruffles of the Savannah Skirt.


A few things to point out: On the model demonstrated in the video, the wide stitch finger is moved out of the way. Once the stitch finger is out of the way, the stitches get formed around a smaller stitch pin, creating a very narrow finished rolled edge. The other significant change for a rolled edge stitch is the tension on the lower looper.  Depending on the machine you're using, you may be able to set this automatically or you may need to follow your manual to set it manually.

This hem style can be used to replace a traditional single or double turned hem. Beginning at 6:45 in the video you can follow along to see how the pattern piece was modified to allow for this technique. You can use it on a variety of fabrics, both knits & wovens. It's an especially nice way to finish the hem on a delicate fabric like chiffon!

If you use the rolled edge on something with corners like the Handkerchief Skirt or the napkins we practiced on in Part 1, I think the best way to treat the corners is to FIRST use a drop of seam sealant on the corners and THEN snip off the thread tail once the sealant has dried. It's challenging to do the needle trick demonstrated in the napkin tutorial with the rolled edge stitch.

There are many patterns on Pixie Faire that could adapt well to a rolled edge.  Sew Urban’s Handkerchief Skirt and Liberty Jane’s Faraway Downs Dress (skirt variation) come to mind. I’m sure once you get the hang of it, you’ll find this to be a quick method to use for many projects.

Here is an example of a rolled edge hem used on the Faraway Downs Skirt. The pink thread is a nice accent detail that really highlights the tiered ruffles!

Here are several more examples of designs that could work well with a rolled edge hem. From left to right: Kings Canyon top, Kimberley Dress, Twirly Tunic, UK Holiday (dress modification shown in the Elastics topic), Harajuku Station Skirt, Kings Canyon for Wellies, Ruffle Jacket, and the Ruffled Top. 

Week Two Tasks:

  • Get your pattern and supplies together. For this demo, we suggest you use the Sew Urban Savannah Skirt ruffles and sew along with us. You can also practice this technique with long rectangular 2-inch wide strips if desired.
  • Watch the “Rolled Edge Hems” video posted above.
  • Follow along to see how to sew this technique, then practice this on your own project.
  • Extra Bonus - find a different pattern in your stash and identify a hem or sleeve hem that you could use this technique on. Share your thoughts with the group! Have more sewing time on your hands? Try it out using the pattern modification tips at 6:45 in the video. Jump over to the SWC Facebook Group to show us what you made!


Be sure to join us next Tuesday as we focus on the 3 thread overlock stitch and continue sewing the skirt.





September 10, 2020

This was a GREAT lesson! I have been doing rolled hems but never knew the tension had to be adjusted. I bought some nylon thread to fill in better so it would look better and my stitches had to be very close together. I don’t think my fabric was rolling at all! I have never heard it explained like this before! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, Donna! I have a new baby grand-daughter to sew for and I know I can use this on her clothing as well!


September 09, 2020

I wanted to use this edge for a fichu I was making for a Colonial doll pattern. I wasn’t too happy with the result. It looked uneven and some edges stuck out.I decided to try a light weight stabilizer that pulls away and then melts when you press it. It turned out beautifully. Hope someone can use this tip.

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