Friday, May 9, 2014

Understitching, One step on the road to awesome finishing.

I was having a conversation with my sewing sidekick Rachel about understitching the other day.  She was making this amazing dress for a gala she had a hand in for The Bridge a local arts initiative.  She was querying over finishing methods for lined garments.  I brought up understitching and so we began to tumble down that rabbit hole.

Her big issue was that she was using a solid lining but her dress itself was heavily patterned.  She was concerned about the lining popping out over the top of the neckline and ruining the effect of her awesome graffiti print dress.  She decided to understitch it, which made me think that I should do a blog tutorial on understitching.

***But first a shout out for Rachel's awesome dress (and her purple hair):

Now for reals...UNDERSTITCHING

1) Assemble to the point of attaching your facing: I have assembled the garment to the point where it is ready for the facing to go on.  I made sure to press open my seams so it will be easier when I start to stitch the facing on. 

2) Stitch facing on: I am going to work on the neck edge of this garment.  With right sides together, pin your facing on, matching the shoulder seams and any other marked notches.

Next stitch around the neck edge.

3) Clip: You are going to want to clip to within an 1/8" of your stitch line around the curves of your neck edge.  This will help the garment to lay flat when we turn and press it. I have also clipped my corners. I was careful not to clip too close to the corner's edge.  I don't want it to frey and look like garbage.

4) Turn: Turn your garment right side out.  If you have a corner using a turning tool can be useful to get a really crisp corner.

5) Press: Ironing is crucial to sewing.  It can be a huge pain in the rump but if you take the time to iron frequently you're end result will look a lot sharper and more professional. One thing that helps to get a good press on the edge you've just sewn, is to roll the seam between your fingers as you press along the garment.

6) Understitching: Since my garment has corners at the center back it is difficult to start my understitching right at the very end.  To make my life a little easier I started my understitching about 1" in from the edge.  Believe me there is no reason to make yourself mental over something that won't be a huge deal.  Just get as close as you can.  Backstitch when you start and then stitch with your seam riding along the edge of your presser foot.  When you've gone as close to the opposite edge as you can get, backstitch again.

7) Press: I know you're saying to yourself, "WHAT? Press again?" Yes my comrades, press again.  Then you're done with your understitching.

I'm pumped that I was able to bring you a little video action with this tutorial.  Special shout out to my absolutely awesome wife Deb for her camera work and mad editing skills. She basically helped my videos not look like crap.  She also saved me from having to juggle a camera with one hand and demonstrate with the other.  Simply put, she's amazing, that's why I had to marry her.

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