Next is the rolled hem made on an overlocker (serger). For years this was the only method I used. If your overlocker is set up just right, this can be a really easy and attractive finish on many fabric types. If you pull the edges as you're sewing then you will end up with a really wavy edge, I think they call it a lettuce edge (?).
This next method is my current favourite. I used to try and try to use a rolled hem foot and it drove me mental. So I gave up and used my overlocker for everything. When I started working in bridal I was horrified to learn that almost every dress was finished with a rolled hem - so I needed to learn quick! Running around a full hem on a bias cut skirt in silk charmeuse (on one of those fast, jumpy industrial machines)really cures your fear of this method, although I can't recommend it as a learning technique! But it really is worth mastering.
Below is a hem using a rolled hem foot and a straight stitch. I find it a very polished finish and it doesn't have that home-made feel that an overlocked rolled hem can (sometimes) have. It takes practice though, so be kind to yourself and start on crisp lightweight cottons and straight-ish edges and you'll get it in no time. The trickiest bit is starting and there are lots of tips around about how to get started. To be honest I just sort of push the fabric in and then use a pin to pull it through enough to plant the needle. I sit myself to the left of the machine as I find it easier to feed curved fabric into the roller that way, but really it comes down to practice.
My final sample also uses a rolled hem foot but this time I used zig zag. This is a more casual finish and on the right fabric can create a pretty scalloped effect (you could probably use your blind hem stitch for a similar effect). This method is slightly easier than using the straight stitch too as it's a litle more forgiving if you go off course - your edges are a bit more firmly anchored.
One thing that is always a bit of a fiddle is getting a nice corner. I thread a needle with two strands of thread and pull it through the corner so I have four 'tails'. I use this as a handle to start me off. This stops you getting really stuck on the lump at the corner.I hope these few techniques are useful to you. I'm not really a 'ruffly' girl but it's always handy to know a few different techniques so you have a choice. I never use the methods in the pattern instructions, seriously I just don't think they work.
Next time I'll show you the top these ruffles are attached to.