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Press open the seam within the hem area where it crosses the hem at the edge of a pleat fold. Finish the raw edge of the hem, then measure up from the hemline the width of the hem and clip the seam. Both seam allowances above the hem will face in one direction, helping to keep the pleat fold flat (1).

An effective way to ensure that any pleated hem stays creased is to edgestitch the fold of the pleat. Stitch through all thicknesses of the hem on the inside (2).

To handle fullness effectively in a pleated hem, restitch the seam below the hemline at a slant opposite that of the garment seam above the hemline. Remove previous stitching and trim the seam below the hemline to 1/4" (6 mm) (3). Complete the hem.

A godet can be used to give extra width to a hem. It can be inserted into a seam, dart, cut-out, or slash. A pie-shaped godet (the most common shape) is usually cut with the straight grain down the center of the fabric, leaving bias edges on the sides.

For insertion into a seam or dart, pin godet to garment, matching seamlines and marwngs. For heavy or stretchy fabrics, center ribbon seam binding over scamlines for support. Baste and stitch on either side from point to hem (1). Clip seam allowances 1" (25 mm) below the point. Press seam allowances open below the clip, toward the garment above the clip, and open again above the point (2).

For other couture hem finishes-soft hems, extremely curved hems, and horsehair braid finish-see pages 451 and 452. To achieve a smooth corner when a facing folds back at the hemline, see the tailoring section, page 436. For an explanation of pressing techniques and equipment to use on hems, see page 350. For insertion into a slash, reinforce the slash by sewing just inside the seamlines in the seam allowance, using small stitches [15-20 per inch (6-8 per em)] on both sides of the point and pivoting at the point. If fabric is especially fragile, reinforce point with a patch of underlining. At point, clip exactly to stitching (3). Pin godet to slash, turning patch inside and matching the godet marking to the clipped point first. Baste and stitch, slashed side up, from point to hem (4). Press seam allowances toward garment (5).

With heavy or loosely woven fabrics, stitch the godet to the garment for only a few inches (centimeters) on either side of the point and let the remainder of the godet hang free for 24 hours to allow the bias to set. Before hemming, allow all garments to hang 24 hours.

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2006 March 28