One of the new accessories I got a chance to play with at BU was the Spanish Hemstitch attachment. It’s not a foot, instead it screws into the free arm of the machine and works with the #20 (or #20C, depending on your machine). The attachment allows you to join fabric edges at a defined distance, determined by the cord guide used.
Traditionally, a hemstitch provides air between or within stitches and is a decorative way to both hem and embellish at the same time. This can be achieved by hand by drawing a group of threads together or by machine with a Wing Needle. The Wing Needle has, well, wings on either side of the needle blade then create a hole by piercing through the fabric. This hole is made more significant when thread is passed through more than once. You can see on the package a well-stitched example. Lighter weight fabric also helps.
The Spanish Hemstitch attachment takes two pieces of fabric and joins them together with thread, still with the characteristic of air between stitches. The different cord guides affect the space between the two pieces by changing in width. Multiple cord guides are provided for different thicknesses of fabric and for both 5.5 & 9 mm machines. There’s also a slot on top of the cord guide to, are you ready, guide cord in between the 2 fabrics and stitched in place. Check out this BERNINA pdf with photos!
Or check out my friend Jaime’s pillowcases. Imagine other bedding like sheets and shams with this delicate finish or table linens like napkins, runners, and placemats (with some monogram embroidery perhaps?) I also think some of Colette Patterns would look great with this vintage-y embellishment. How cute would this application be on a skirt or dress hem?
Not all stitches react the same way to Spanish Hemstitching. Because a significant portion of the stitch is not on fabric, it’s best to choose a stitch that minimizes this. It’s always a good idea to test them out before jumping in to your project.
MD has the Spanish Hemstitch Attachment in stock. Stop by anytime and I’d be happy to show it off! I’m also planning on taking one home for me. I can’t wait to share how I use it.