Help with Hemming

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Hi there, my name is David (Davy) Chalmers. I live on the Island of Fetlar, Shetland Isles, Scotland, and that is as far north you can go (without falling off the edge) in the UK. Anyway, enough of the geography lesson. I am 73 years young and rather shaky as I have Parkinsons. However I have recently come into a BROTHER LS14 sewing machine. I do not see myself making dresses or shirts or anything fancy, I just want to be able to take up hems of trousers and curtains and other things of that nature.

Do you think I am too old? Or at my age too ambitious? If your answer is no then can you recommend any books or videos for a complete novice?

Submitted by David  

NSC Answer

Hi Davy,

To start with—you are never too old to learn something new. So with that being said, welcome to the wonderful world of sewing!

We have both articles and videos for beginners on this website, as well as intermediate to advance skill levels—once you start getting comfortable with the basics. Since you mentioned you have an interest in hemming trousers, here is an article with helpful tips about that: Top 5 Tips for Hemming Pants.

At the bottom of the article is also links to several videos on hemming. We also have an entire video category dedicated to hems. These videos will show you how to do anything from a basic double-fold hem, which is what is commonly used on curtains and is one of the easiest to learn, as well as a blind hem, which is traditionally used for trousers. (I believe that the blind hem stitch is stitch number 12 on the stitch selection dial for your machine when you are ready to start practicing that).

As with many people who are just learning a new skill and may not want to purchase a lot of information to begin with, we have a section of free videos with a variety of skills being taught.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have along the way. Happy sewing!


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Please note: questions may be edited for clarity and relevance.

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23 Responses to “Help with Hemming”

  1. Teresa Kelly

    My husband and I just finished Season 6 of Shetland last night. So yes, we know about Fetlar. It does look like a place close to the edge of the world! Good luck with your sewing. I know you can do it. Sounds like Janice will be a help to you!

  2. Barbara

    You go Davy!! 👍 Keep learning!! Brother is a very good sewing machine. Easy to use. I try to keep learning new things all the time. Sewing, weaving, etc. I visited the Shetland Isles a few years ago for a knitting tour. I am 76.
    I hope your Parkinson’s is under control.

  3. Stella

    If I at 72 can hem a knitted hem you can certainly do trousers. Start with a small project like tea towels, practice different stitches and watch youtube.Soon you’ll breeze thru it.

    • Janice

      Hello Davie, I’m just twa Isles doon fae de in Bressay and no dat much younger although I’ve been sewing since I was a bairn. Get desel on You Tube and Pin Interest there are many instructions. If du needs face tae face help gi me a shout! Janice

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  4. Dee Griffith

    Sewing less these days, but made my children’s clothes, including some coats. Started sewing in Jr. High and there was always a sewing machine set up on the dining room table, while I was growing up. Always looking to be a better seamstress and trying new ideas. Thank you for the opportunity. Oh, and by the way, I am 82 years old and still looking for new ways, new ideas, new patterns and fellow sewers.

    • Stella

      Glad to hear I’m not alone in learning something new!I learn a lot from watching youtube. Even how to fix my Singer 221. We can do it!

  5. Deborah

    when I sew with a pattern they never fit right. They are either to big or to tight. what am I doing wrong?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Deborah,

      If you are making the pattern size based off of your measurements and it still is not coming out correctly, you seam allowance could be off slightly. This could make a garment come out larger or smaller than intended. Also, if you are using a commercial pattern, it is always a good idea to make a fitting sample first. This way you can see if there are any alterations you need to make to the pattern to make it fit your specific size and shape.


      National Quilters Circle Video Membership

      We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special promotion for your first year membership.

  6. Antoine

    Hi Davy,
    Your never to old I’m teaching older women how to sew and make patterns for themselves, so your willingness to learn is very inspiring. Never let someone tell you what you can or cannot do remember age is just a number, best of luck and thank you. Antoine

  7. sharon

    I think Davy, who has the Bro.LS14 probably needed to begin w/how to use & thread machine, plus other beginning sewing

  8. Carmen Gorritz

    I bought a pattern to make a dress for my grandaughter and it said to use a invisible zipper ,and i look every where for a invisible zipper can i use a regular zipper?

    • Stella

      An invisible zipper will look so much better and is very easy to stitch on. Your garment will look professionally made. You can find them on eBay very reasonable. Try it.