Last Saturday morning I ran through my errands efficiently because I had a fun sewing project that I was excited to start–a wrap coat in a bright Trenna Travis print (Michael Miller Fabrics). I'd been doing a lot of sewing for babies recently, so it was a treat to be doing some garment sewing in a woman's size again.
For a 5/8" seam, staystitch 1/2"
|Curved seam edges benefit from being
staystitched before construction.
I took the time to cut out the outer coat and the lining in the same cutting session. Sometimes when I just want to start sewing some pieces put together I put off cutting out the lining until later. This time I even cut and fused the interfacing before I put in a new needle and wound the bobbin.
So I was raring to go. And then what's the first instruction? Staystitching. And lots of it.
Like priming the walls before you paint, staystitching is a necessary–but unseen–part of the sewing process.
What is staystitching, exactly? It's a line of stitching 1/8" inside the seamline on a single fabric layer that helps stabilize the fabric. For the coat I was working on, the staystitching went along the princess seams on the front and back, around the neck line of the coat, and the neck edge of the collar. Then repeat for the lining. Lots of staystitching….
So the question is: Is it really, really necessary? And the short answer is: Yes, it is.
In addition to keeping the fabric from stretching during construction, it also acts as a reinforcement stitch line if you need to clip any curved seams. If you are working with a more loosely woven fabric, it will help keep the fabric edges from pulling out of shape.
For all the time you will spend putting together your project, staystitching is a very small part. And once you commit to it, it's a fairly relaxing thing to do.
So, do add staystiching to your sewing repertoire. Your sweet, steady seams will thank you for it.
And if you're looking for a great gift for Mother's Day, check out the Craft Tree eBooks.
Have you embraced staystitching? I'd love to hear if you start with it or skip it.