Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Draftalong # 15 - Stay Stitching

Staying on our little detour from  the book for now, I wanted to go over stay stitching the neckline and armhole curves. Now, from bitter experience, I can tell you it is soooo not worth skipping this step. This toile may be sewn up, tried on, pulled about, pinned, picked apart, pressed, sewn up again, tried on again; several times yet. This will put stress on the fabric and especially on the curved edges at the neckline and armholes and can distort the shape and therefore the fit of the toile to a suprising degree. If you are familiar with the ongoing drafting of my Go To dress, it is exactly this distortion that has stalled my progress and led to much clenching of fists and Grrrrr'ing.  Just when I thought I was almost at the end of the process, I'll have to re-draft the neck and armholes, which I just haven't been able to face yet. So in the hope that I can save someone else from this trauma, onto stay stitching....

Definition: Stay stitching is a single line of stitching, through one layer of fabric, to stabilize the fabric, preventing it from becoming stretched or distorted. Stay stitching is usually called for on the edge of a piece of fabric that has a bias cut to it which would allow the fabric to easily become distorted. (source)

Ok, so now we've got that cleared up, sew around each neckline and armhole curve using a standard straight machine stitch....I forgot and just sewed from one end of the curve to the other. But the correct way to do it is to sew from one end of the curve to the centre and stop. Then sew from the other end of the curve to the centre again, until the 2 rows of stitching meet. This is to limit the amount of pull on the fabric as it goes through the machine as even the process of stay stitching could potentially distort a bias curve. Whichever you choose, go careful ad try not to stretch the fabric! Backstitch at the beginning and end of each row of stitching...
 Repeat for each curve...
Back soon with the next post. Don't forget you can now start adding your own pictures to the Flickr group.


  1. Woo hoo! I've caught up. Miss P, you are writing this up just right - good balance of pics & words. I'm getting v excited about how much I'm going to learn! Thank you x

  2. Thanks for a detailed explanation about staystitching. I always do it when its called for in patterns, but never knew the reason why. Iam going to start drafting a pattern with your draftalong. Hope I catch up in time.


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