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Understitching

Posted on: 25th Feb 2014

SERIES 2 – EPISODE – 1

The first garment The Great British Sewing Bee wanted contestants to make was a top that incoporated understitching.

UNDERSTITCHING – On a neck or armhole facing.

This has to be one of my most favourite sewing techniques as it enables a proffesional finish very easily.

WHAT IS UNDERSTITCHING?

It is a row of stitching that is usually seen on the inside of a facing or lining but the process can be used in other areas of garment construction.

It is a stitching line close to the seam line and it goes through the facing or lining and both seam turnings.

Understitching can not be seen on the right side of the garment.

WHY SHOULD I UNDERSTITCH?

The stitching is there to keep the seam rolled to the inside of the garment by a small amount.

It keeps the facing or lining from rolling to the right side of the garment.

It gives extra stability to the edge which results in a clean smooth line for your neckline or armhole.

HOW TO UNDERSTITCH A ARMHOLE/NECKLINE FACING OR LINING

I have used an armhole awith a facing as an example.

1. Stitch your facing to the neck or armhole.

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2. After stitching your facing in place trim the seam allowance to 1cm or 3/8 inch

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3. Trim a little more off the facing seam allowance only so  the seam allowances are graded. ( This helps eliminate bulk)

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4. Snip the curves so that your garment will lay flat when your facing is turned to the wrong side. Be careful not to snip into your stitch line.

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5. On the right side use the tip of your iron to press the facing/lining away from the body of the garment. When you are more experienced at edgestitching it is not always necessary to iron.

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6. If you do not have an edgestitching foot adjust the needle on your machine to the left or right of the central position depending which side your facing is to.

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7. Understitch the facing or lining. The centre of the machine foot should lay over the seam and the needle will stitch 2 to 3mm away on the facing/lining. See above image.

Make sure that you are stitching through both seam allowances aswell as the facing/lining.

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Please note that I would not use a contrast colour as on the image. This is just so that you can see where the stitching lies

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8. Your facing/lining will now automatically roll to the back of the garment by  approximately 2/3mm.

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9. Press from the right side and you will have the most beautiful clean finished edge.

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Practice the understitching technique on scraps before doing it on your garment so that you fully understand the process.

Happy sewing!