Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hems and facings: the inside front corner

A while ago, TECHknitting ran a 10-part series on knitting better cuffs and bands.  The fifth post of that series dealt with sewing shut hems and facings.  Recently, an anonymous commenter to that post asked:

  • I'm having trouble turning corners with the hemming of my cardigan. I have hems down the center of the sweater and then round to the hem of the bottom of the sweater. Your tips on hemming were helpful but when I try to make the turns they aren't very neat - any suggestions or tips?

This is truly a case where pictures are worth thousands of words, so here you go, Anon!

Above is the "ordinary" method of getting a tidy join on the inside of a sweater front where the front facing and the bottom hem come together.  The front facing is made as long as the front of the sweater, but the bottom hem is knit narrower than the width of the sweater front.  When both hem and facing are flipped into position and sewn in place, there is no overlap, yielding a quite neat turn.  I, personally, would use this ordinary method for sweaters with buttons and buttonholes, because the entire length of the front band is hemmed by a single length of fabric--there is no seam to conflict with the bottom button, as there would be with the mitered finish, shown below. 

Above is a different way of making the corner--both hem and facing are knit at at a 45 degree angle, using short rows.  When they are both flipped into place, they make a neat and pretty join at the bottom corner.  This mitered hem makes a very pretty finish for a swing jacket--the kind often held shut by a single button at the top.  In swing jackets, the hem is often in view, and the 45 degree miter is a pretty look for that application.

As shown above, it is also possible to knit a mitered hem and facing all-in-one, with matching double-shaping at the dots--matching left and right increases or matching left and right decreases, depending if you have started at the inner or outer edge of the all-in-one. 

Good knitting!

You have been reading TECHknitting blog on mitered hems for knitwear