Maintain the original cover stitch on knit garments when shortening sleeves or hemline, using a serger and a sewing machine.
Step 1: Pin Up the Excess Length of Hem or Sleeve.
This shirt has been measured on the person with the excess hem length having been pinned up to the desired length.
Step 2: Measure the Amount to Be Shortened.
Here you can see that the hem is to be shortened four inches.
Step 3: Make the Fold.
Make a fold that measures half of the amount to be removed - in this case, two inches - (half of four inches).
IMPORTANT! MEASURE FROM THE UPPER EDGE OF THE SERGED STITCH, WHERE YOU SEE THE PIN. FOR THIS STEP, DON'T MEASURE FROM THE EDGE OF THE HEM!
Pin as shown along the upper side of the serged edge of the hem all around. Make sure that the fabric lies smooth with no wrinkles.
Match the side seams. Press the fold.
Step 4: Serge Close to the Original Serge Stitching.
Serge so that the left side of the new serging is just to the right of the original serged edge. The left hand mark on the presser foot marks where the left side of the new serge line should be. If you do not have a serger, you can do this step using the straight stitch on a regular sewing machine, stitching close to the original serged stitch.
Step 5: View Behind the Presser Foot.
This is the view as the serged seam comes out of the presser foot.
Step 6: View of the Good Side After Serging/sewing.
Here you can see how it should appear on the good side of the hem, after serging or sewing.
Step 7: Press the Seam Allowance.
Press the seam allowance away from the hemline.
NOTE: If you are sewing on a regular machine and you used a straight stitch:
1. Trim away the excess fabric to within 1/4 inch from the straight stitching.
2. Use a zigzag or other stitch to finish the edge.
3. Press the seam allowance in the same manner.
Step 8: View of Pressed Hem.
Here is a view of the good and the wrong side of the pressed hem.
Step 9: Topstitch Along the Fold.
Topstitch along the fold matching the stitch length to that of the cover stitch length.
Maintain the same spacing from the left hand line of the cover stitch, as is between the two rows of the cover stitch.
Step 10: Finished Hem View.
The finished hem showing the wrong side and the good side, with the original cover stitch and the new row of stitching.
Step 11: Finished Garment.
Here is the completed hem.