You should not remove your stay stitches. They must remain in your garment since they will help stabilize your fabric and prevent it from too much stretching or distorting.
List of Contents:
- Is stay-stitching necessary?
- How do you do a stay stitch?
- Do you backstitch when stay-stitching?
- What is back-stitching for?
- How to back-stitch on a sewing machine?
- How to back-stitch by hand?
- Do you remove basting stitches?
- How long is a basting stitch?
- How do you do a basting stitch by hand?
- What does running stitch mean?
Is stay-stitching necessary?
Stay stitching is the line of stitches through one layer of your fabric. It serves as a stabilizer that prevents unnecessary stretching of your fabric. It also prevents your garment from twisting out of its shape. Stay stitches will also ensure that your fabric drapes appropriately.
Although you may think about skipping this step, you need to remember that it is crucial to produce an excellent and wearable garment. Do not worry because your stay stitches will not be visible outside of your garment unless you accidentally sew them over your seam line.
You will mostly use this type of stitch on the edge of your garment with a bias cut, which can is at risk of distortion more than other fabric grain cuts. You can also use this on curved cuts like necklines so you can make sure that your pieces fit together correctly.
- Bias cut means cutting your fabric on a 45-degree angle to the straight grain so that it will drape itself. This effect will help contour the shape of the body.
Directional stitching is when you sew your stay-stitching in a specific direction to keep your fabric’s shape the same it was when you cut it. But when you sew the opposite direction, you will most likely end up with distorted pieces despite your efforts.
How do you do a stay stitch?
The first thing you should note when doing a stay stitch is where you need to sew it. You need to stay twitch on your garment’s curved areas that are at risk of distortion. To keep the curving edge firm, you need to sew it smaller than your usual stitches.
You need to start from the shoulder on one side to the center of the front on a neck curve and stop. Then, you continue this on the opposite side to the middle of the front neck to meet the other side’s stay-stitching.
Doing so will stop each side from stretching as you sew around the curved edges. Although you can sew it all in one pass, you will most likely ruin your garment by increasing the neck’s risk of wrinkles. Make sure that you follow these steps carefully.
You might want to practice sewing curves if you are a beginner in stay-stitching. Follow this simple guide to learn how to sew concave, convex, and opposing curves.
Sewing convex and concave curves
A convex is a curve that faces outward. You can find this on pocket edges, clutches, and bag flaps. Follow these steps to sew a convex curve:
- Mark your seam.
a. Draw a seam allowance line using chalk or a removable pen. This line will guide you when sewing. It will increase your accuracy and help you visualize the curved seam line.
b. You can easily mark your seam from the edge using a seam gauge or a ruler in little dashes. After doing so, you can join them up to make things simpler for you.
c. You need to place your pins vertically so you can follow your guide with little interference.
d. Place the heads on the outside of the curve so you can remove them as you go along.
- Sewing your curve
a. For gentle sewing curves, you need to sew in one motion, without stopping.
b. For tight curves, you might want to stop with your needle down in your fabric. Lift the presser foot, and pivot the piece to start stitching again. Make several small adjustments to maintain a smooth curve and stop your garment from wrinkling up.
c. If the curve is too complicated for you, you can sew the most challenging part by turning the handwheel for the most control.
a. You need to remove some of your excess fabric to maintain the curve’s smoothness when you turn it the right way out.
b. Cut triangular notches out of the seam allowance.
- Turn and press
a. Turn the curve the right way out and give it a good press.
A concave is a curve that faces inward, which you can find on necklines and armholes. You sew it the same way you would sew a convex curve.
But unlike a convex curve, you need to clip the seam allowance for a concave curve. Make little snips ending before your stitching line instead of clipping triangular notches. Finally, give it a good press.
Once you know how to sew your curves, you can sew stay stitches on your garment’s bodice.
Remember that you need to do the line of stitching on a single layer of fabric. Follow the seam line but keep 1.5mm under your seam allowance. If you do so, the stitch on your neckline would not be visible.
You also need to remember that your facing pieces may also have curved edges. They might not match if you stay-stitch your main parts but not the facings.
Do you backstitch when stay-stitching?
In stay-stitching, you can use a regular stitch length and back-stitching. But you need to remember that the stitch line often ends up caught in a seam. So you need to practice your sewing to find the techniques that will best work for you.
What is back-stitching for?
Like stay-stitching, back-stitching contributes to the durability of your garment. It helps lengthen your fabric’s lifespan by blocking stitches from coming apart.
Backstitching can also aid you as you sew your pieces together. You can easily pull and adjust your seams when you back-stitch your seams. You do not have to worry about anything coming undone.
How to back-stitch on a sewing machine?
Follow these steps to do back stitches on your sewing machine:
- Press and hold the back-stitching button and press on the foot control.
- You need to maintain the fabric straight, so the backstitches go right on top of the forward stitches that you sewed.
- Let go of the foot control and back-stitch button when the backstitches reach anywhere from ½-¾ inches in average length.
- You may also sew another regular straight stitch on top of your backstitches for added security.
How to back-stitch by hand?
Follow these steps to do backstitches by hand:
- Prepare your needle and mark your seam.
a. First, you need to thread a needle with a piece of thread that is not longer than a yard. Keep in mind that longer pieces have a higher risk of getting tangled and knot as you continue sewing.
b. Knot your thread’s end. Make sure to use a large knot that will not pull through your fabric. You can double it by knotting the two ends together, giving it extra strength.
c. It would help mark the stitching line with a thin pencil to keep your seam as straight and tidy as possible.
d. Use a ruler for straight seams. Measure the seam allowance first, make short marks along the seam, and connect them, so you have a guide to follow for the curves.
- Make your first stitch.
a. You need to push your needle into the fabric where you want to start your seam.
b. Bring your needle back through both fabric layers in front of the knot.
c. Push the needle back into your fabric between where your needle went in and out of the material. Doing so will create the first stitch.
- Continue stitching.
a. Bring your needle through your fabric the same distance you cam forward when creating your first stitch. Take note that these stitches might touch each other. You can choose to space them a little farther apart.
b. Continue stitching in this manner across the seam.
c. If you want to need a secure seam, you need to take time to sew small stitches. It is vital for a garment’s parts that need durability.
d. You can make the stitches a little longer for other sewing projects that do not need high durability.
- Finish your seam.
a. When you reach the length that you want, you will see that your threads overlap on your fabric’s reverse side.
b. Make a few stitches right on top of one another to finish the seam. Doing so will help you anchor the thread like a knot.
c. Finally, cut any excess thread off the knot at the beginning.
Do you remove basting stitches?
Unlike stay stitches, basting stitches are temporary straight stitches. They hold a fabric’s layers together until you sew the final stitch. Basting stitches are long, loose stitches, which you can easily remove after you finish sewing.
How long is a basting stitch?
A basting stitch needs to be at least 4mm. It is longer, unlike the average stitch length of seams that is about 2.5mm.
How do you do a basting stitch by hand?
Basting by hand is one of the most basic sewing techniques. Follow these simple steps to do a hand baste:
- Select the fabric that you want to attach and use straight pins to hold them in place.
- Thread a needle and knot it.
- Lightly mark the area where you want to sew using a pencil or a tailor’s chalk.
- Pull your needle up through both fabric layers until the knot stops your thread.
- Push your needle down through both layers to sew a single running stitch that is about a fingerprint in width.
- Continue sewing along the line using the running stitch.
- Firmly pull your needle through the fabric.
- Repeat the stitches until you reach the end.
- Cut the thread and tie a simple knot to secure your stitches.
What does running stitch mean?
A running stitch consists of a line of smaller stitches that run in and out through fabric without overlapping. It is one of the most common and easiest stitches. Crafters typically use it for hand-stitching seams.