UNDERSTITCHING : HOW TO DO IT AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

 

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Have you ever had the lining or facing of your garment keep rolling and peeking out from the inside? There is a solution for that, and it’s called understitching. Understitching is a technique that is often used on necklines, armholes, and the top edge of a lined skirt. And it’s done by stitching the seam allowance to the lining/facing, very close to the seam. If done correctly, the stitching is unseen from the outside, and your lining will stay hidden and in place on the inside!

Let’s take a look at how to use this simple technique….

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For this sample, the print is the main fabric, and the solid color is the facing/lining.

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With right sides facing each other, stitch your pieces together.

NOTE: if you are working with a curved seam, like a neckline or an armhole, now is the time to clip or notch your seam allowance.

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With the wrong side facing you, open up your seam and press the seam allowance towards the facing/lining. Press it from the right side as well to make sure its good and flat. Pin to keep in place if necessary.

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Stitching on the facing/lining and through the seam allowance, sew a line as close as possible to the seam line,  about 1/8 – 1/4” away. I used the inner side of my presser foot as a guide.

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This is what it should look like from the right side (L) and wrong side (R).

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Now press your facing/lining to the inside. You’ll see that it rolls nicely to the backside, so that facing/lining won’t peek out from the front.

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR CUTTING FABRIC

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Have you ever finished a garment only to have the seams all twisted? Or have two different lengths when trying to match up seams during construction? Or how about have a finished garment’s hem become uneven after a few wears? All of these problems can often be traced back to some of the very first few steps of sewing – cutting your fabric. Accurate cutting, on the grain, is such an important step in creating a well fitted garment.

I’ve laid out some simple tips and tricks to help you get a perfect cut every time!

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PREWASH AND PRESS

The first step before cutting is actually a really important one, but often overlooked. Yep – you should be pre-washing and ironing your fabric. For the impatient (like myself), this can seem tedious. But you really should not skip this step! The last thing you want is to spend all your time perfecting your garment, just to have it shrink afterwards in the first washing. So pre-wash, and iron out all those wrinkles so the fabric lays nice and flat. Make sure to follow any manufacturers recommendations.

Something else you may not realize – you can iron your pattern pieces too! Most patterns come out of their packages with all those creases, which can prevent them from laying flat. If you take the time to smooth out your fabric, might as well smooth out your paper patterns as well!

The flatter everything is, the more precise your cutting will be. And all those seams should match up better!

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ESTABLISH SELVEDGE EDGE / GRAINLINE

The selvedge of your fabric is the self-finished edge of the fabric. The sides that don’t unravel. This is also considered the straight edge of your fabric, and is how you find your grain. The lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvedge.

The majority of your pattern pieces will have a directional grain line printed on them. When placing your pattern pieces onto your fabric, use a clear ruler to line up the grain line on each piece with the selvedge / straight edge. A cutting mat with a grid is also helpful in making sure everything lines up perfectly!

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CUTTING METHOD 1 : PINS AND DRESSMAKER SHEARS

Once you have your pieces lined up perfectly, there a few different tools and options you can use for cutting.

The first method is pinning your pattern pieces to the fabric with dressmaker pins. Make sure your pins are sharp – dull pins can damage delicate fabrics. Use enough pins to hold your pattern piece in place, but too many that it distorts, pulls, or bunches the fabric.

Now cut around your pattern pieces with your fabric shears. Make sure your scissors are sharp! Dull scissors will create frayed, jagged cuts. Oh, and another big thing with scissors – don’t lift the scissors and fabric off of your flat surface as you cut. Remember, you want everything to remain as flat as possible, so keep the lower blade of the scissors against the surface.

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CUTTING METHOD 2 : WEIGHTS AND ROTARY BLADE

On the other hand, instead of pinning your pattern pieces, you can hold them in place with weights.  A lot of people prefer this method because it is faster than pinning, and keeps the pieces and fabric flatter than pins. This is really good when working with knits. Pins can sometimes stretch a knit fabric, so weights can help you prevent that. You can buy specialty weights at the craft store, but you really don’t have to. Just use anything you have around the house – magnets off the fridge, washi tape rolls, rocks, etc.

Swap out your fabric shears for a rotary blade cutter. Again, it is smoother and faster than cutting with scissors, and reduces fraying a bit. Just be careful not to let it slip. Use a ruler along straight edges of the pattern pieces to ensure a straight, clean cut.

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CUTTING METHOD 3 : TRACING AND DRESSMAKER SHEARS / ROTARY BLADE

Lastly, once you have your pattern pieces weighed down, you could choose to trace and draw around the edge with a washable pen/pencil or tailors chalk. You could also use carbon paper and a tracing wheel, if you prefer.

Trace everything (including notches, darts, etc), remove the pattern pieces, and then cut out with your fabric shears or rotary blade.

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TISSUE PAPER FOR SLIPPERY FABRICS

If you’ve ever worked with fabrics like silk charmeuse or chiffon, you know how difficult it is to keep everything in place and straight when trying to cut it. Here’s a trick – sandwich the fabric in between sheets of tissue paper before placing your pattern pieces and cutting. It won’t slip and slide as much!

CUTTING ON FOLD VS. CUTTING FLAT

Most patterns will almost always call for fabric to be cut on the fold. But you can usually use less yardage if you actually cut with the fabric laying open and flat. This is especially helpful for garments with exceptionally large pattern pieces, like the Tania Culottes.

WRONG SIDE OF THE FABRIC

Always place your patterns, mark, and cut from the wrong side of the fabric. That way all notches and marks are done on the backside where you can’t see them from the outside /right side of the fabric. Also, pieces are usually sewn with right sides together, so this way all of your marks will be facing you where you can see them and match them easily.

PRINTS AND NAPS

Don’t forget – If your fabric has a directional print or nap (like velvet or corduroy), you’ll need to pay extra close attention to how you’re laying out your pattern pieces so every piece is facing the right direction and matches up. Same goes with matching stripes and plaids. You might need extra yardage to be able to do this.

 

HOW TO WASH CLOTHING WITH LEATHER PATCHES // REVISITED

How to wash clothing with leather patches // Megan Nielsen Design Diary

[MAKE THIS ]
Sweater: Briar sweater sewing pattern + FREE elbow patch patternleather patches tutorial

Since posting about my leather patched Briar last week i’ve had a lot of questions about how to wash clothing with leather patches. So here is a little refresher on how I wash clothing with leather patches – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how easy it is.

It’s worth noting that i only add leather patches to clothing that isn’t washed (or worn) too regularly, such as sweaters and jeans. I’ve had very good results with these, but haven’t tested what would happen if you added them to a piece of clothing you need to wash after each wear.

Ok, tips after the jump! Please feel free to add your own tips if you have any! [Read more…]