Sweater Finishing Series: How to Whipstitch a Hemmed Cuff

A hemmed edge is one of the more subtle finishing details that can really add a polished look to your sweater or cardigan. Whether you add a hemmed edge to your cuffs, collar, or along the lower edges of your pullover – there are several advantages to using this simple, yet effective technique that leaves a very neat and clean edge.

If you don’t want your fabric to pull in as a ribbed hem would and you want to avoid the bulk of a rolled edge – a hemmed edge just might be the perfect solution! Not only does a hem prevent your edges from curling, it also adds stability and keeps edges like cuffs and colors from stretching out over time. It is also a simple and classic design detail that won’t distract or compete with any other patterning that you might have worked into your pullover, making this a versatile skill to have in your mental library of knitting techniques.

So what exactly is a hemmed edge? Simply put, a hemmed edge is an extra length of stockinette stitch fabric that gets folded and attached to the inside of the garment. There are different ways of attaching the hem, which can be attached and knit together or a whipstitch can be used to sew the hem down.

In our third installment of our Sweater Finishing Series, Kerin shows you how to sew down a hemmed edge of a cuff with the help of a darning needle and the whipstitch.

There are also several variations on this technique, allowing for many different design possibilities to be discovered and added  to your repertoire. In addition to a standard hem that has a slightly curved edge, you can also add a row of purl stitches to act as a turning row to create a neat, clean line. For a more delicate touch, you can also work a picot edge to your hem to add a subtle scalloped edge to your sweater.

Do you have any tips or tricks for working hems into your sweaters?