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Topic: BASIC SEWING TECHNIQUES (Tutorials)  (Read 14954 times)
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JodiJean
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« on: July 07, 2005 04:21:37 PM »

I really didn't know where to put this.  I plan on locking this topic, so if you have question, or comments please PM me with them.  Anyways, hopefully these will help out all of my fellow craftsters.

Seam Allowance Techniques
  Trimming
  Grading
  Clipping
  Notching

Hand-Stitching Techniques
  Slip-Stitch
  Blind-Hem Stitch
  Catch-Stitch
  French Hand-Rolled Hem

Seam Techniques
  Plain Seam
  Corded or Piped Seam
  Flat-Felled Seam
  False Flat-Felled Seam
  French Seam
  Mock French Seam
  Gathered Seam

Seam Finishing Techniques
  Bias-Bound
  Hong Kong
  Net-Bound
  Zigzagged
  Pinked

Zipper Closure Techniques
  Centered Zipper
  Lapped Zipper
  Invisible Zipper
  Fly-Front Zipper

Buttons and Buttonholes, Velcro Techniques
  Buttonholes
  Flat Buttons
  Shank Buttons
  Velcro

Miscellaneous
  Pre-Shrinking Fabrics
 
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005 04:22:39 PM »

Seam Allowance Techniques

Trimming
Trimming means cutting away some of the seam allowance.  It is done when the full width of the seam allowances would interfere with fit (as in an armhole) or with further construction (as in a French seam).  Both layers of fabric are cut at the same time.
Directions:
1)  It is the preliminary step to grading; seams are first trimmed to half their width before grading.

Grading
Grading (also called blending, layering, or beveling) is the cutting of seam allowances to different widths, with the seam allowance that will fall nearest the garment side cut the widest.  Grading is done after pressing.
Directions:
1)  It is recommended that seams be graded when they form an edge or are enclosed.
2)  The result is a seam that lies flat without causing a bulky ridge.

Clipping
Clipping is used on curved seams to allow them to lie smooth.  Clips are slits cut into the seam allowance on convex, or outward, curves that permit the edges to spread.
Directions:
1)  Hold scissor points just short of seamline to avoid cutting past the stitching, and cut in slit in the seam allowance.  1/16 inch away from seam, and the maximum distance apart is 3/8 to inch.
2)  When clips and notches face one another, as in a princess seam, they should be staggered to avoid weakening seam.

Notching
Notching (also called wedging) is used on curved seams to allow them to lie smooth.  Notches are wedges cut from seam allowance of concave, or inward, curves; space opened by removal of fabric lets edge draw in.
Directions:
1)  Hold scissor points just short of seam line to avoid cutting past the stitching, and cut a small wedge in the seam allowance.  1/16 inch away from seam, and the maximum distance apart is 3/8 to inch.
2)  When clips and notches face one another, as in a princess seam, they should be staggered to avoid weakening seam.
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005 04:23:21 PM »

Hand-Stitching Techniques

Slip-Stitch
The Slip-Stitch is a durable and almost invisible method suitable for a folded hem edge.  This stitch is slipped through the fold of the hem edge.
Directions:
1)  Stitches are worked from right to left.  Fasten thread, bringing needle and thread out through fold of hem. 
2)  Opposite, in the garment, take a small stitch, catching only a few threads.
3)  Opposite that stitch, in the hem edge, insert needle and slip through fold for about inch to the left.   Continue alternating the stitches in this way.

Blind-Hem Stitch
The Blind-Hem Stitch is taken inside, between the hem and the garment.  In the finished hem no stitches are visible.  It is a quick and easy stitch that can be used on any blind hem.
Directions:
1)  Work from right to left with needle pointing left.      
2)  Fold back the hem edge; fasten thread inside it. 
3)  Take a very small stitch approximately inch to the left in the garment; take the next stitch inch to the left in the hem.                    
4)  Continue to alternate stitches from garment to hem, spacing them approximately inch apart.  5)  Take care to keep stitches small just a thread or two will do.

Catch-Stitch
The Catch-Stitch (also called the Tailor's Hem) is a stitch used for flat hemming. This stitch is a bit more stable and secure than the blind-hemming stitch, and is particularly good for heavy fabrics.
Directions:
1)  Work from left to right with needle pointing left.      
2)  Fold back the hem edge and fasten thread inside it.
3)  Take a very small stitch, catching only a few threads, to the right in the garment; take the next stitch catching only a few threads to the right in the hem edge.   
4)  Continue to alternate stitches from the garment to hem, spacing them approximately to 3/8 inch apart.  Keep stitches small, especially when stitching on the garment fabric.   
   
French Hand-Rolled Hem
A French Hand-Rolled Hem has an elegant look.  Usually used on sheer fabrics.
Directions:
1)  Mark hemline; machine stitch inch below marked hemline.  Trim hem allowance 1/8 below stitching.
2)  Fold hem to wrong side, just far enough to reveal stitch line.
3)  Working right to left, take a small stitch through the fold; then 1/8 inch below and beyond that stitch, catch a few threads of garment.
4)  Pull thread to roll hem to wrong side.
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2005 04:24:08 PM »

Seam Techniques

Plain Seam
The Plain Seam is the most basic seam and the easiest to use.  Its seam allowances are usually pressed open. 
Directions:
1)  Put the right sides of the fabric together, and stitch 5/8 inch from the edge.
2)  To reinforce, reverse stitching 2 or 3 stitches, then stitch forward along the seamline, reverse stitch to finish. 
3)  Press seam allowance flat, then open. 
4)  If desired, seam finish the raw edges of the seam allowances to prevent them from fraying, using a method suitable for the type of fabric

Corded or Piped Seam
A Corded or Piped Seam is used in both dressmaking and home decorating.  You can buy covered cording, or make your own.
Directions:
1)  Pin or baste cording to right side of one seam allowance, aligning cording stitch line with seamline, and having raw edge of cording toward raw edge of garment seam.  With zipper foot to right of needle, stitch, placing the stitching just to the left of the cording stitched.      
2)  Place seam allowances with right sides together and cording in between.  Using the original line of stitching as a guide, stitch through all layers.            
3)  Press; trim and grade seam as necessary.
4)  When stitching corded seams, it is important that each successive row of stitching be placed slightly closer to the cording.  In this way you can be sure that no stitching will show on the right side.

Flat-Felled Seam
The Flat-Felled Seam is very sturdy, and strong seam.  Since it is formed on the right side, it is also decorative, and care must be taken to keep widths uniform, within a seam and from one seam to another.
Directions:
1)  With wrong sides of the fabric together, stitch on the seamline.
2)  Press seam open, then to one side.
3)  Trim the inner seam allowance to 1/8 inch.
4)  Press under the edge of outer seam allowance inch.
5)  Stitch this folded edge to the garment. 
Be careful to press like seams in the same direction (e.g., both shoulder seams to the front).

False Flat-Felled Seam
The False Flat-Felled Seam is a sturdy seam.  As opposed to the Flat-felled seam it is formed on the wrong side.  It has the appearance of the Flat-felled seam, but it easier to do.  It is an excellent way to hold seam allowances flat, or to add interest to a plain fabric.
Directions:
1)  Stitch a plain seam and press both seam allowances to one side.
2)  Trim inside seam allowance to inch.
3)  Edge finish the wider seam allowance.
4)  Top-stitch, catching wider seam allowance.         
5)  Top-stitch again, close to the seamline.

French Seam
The French Seam is stitched twice, once from the right side and once from the wrong side.  It is the classic seam for sheers, and looks best if the finished width is inch or less.
Directions:
1)  Put wrong side of fabric together.            
2)  Stitch 3/8 inch from the edge.
3)  Trim seam allowance to 1/8 inch.
4)  Press seam open.
5)  Fold right sides together, with the stitched line exactly on edge of the fold, and pres again.
6)  Stitch on the seam line, which is now inch from the fold.  Press seam to one side.

Mock French Seam
The Mock French seam can be used in place of the French seam, especially on curves where a French seam is difficult to execute.
Directions:
1)  With right sides of fabric together, stitch on the seamline.
2)  Trim seam allowance to inch.
3)  Turn in the seam edges inch and press, matching folds along the edge.
4)  Stitch these folded edges together, really close to the fold.  Press seam to one side.

Gathered Seam
A Gathered Seam is done when two seams to be joined are uneven in length, the longer edge must be drawn in to fit the shorter.  A gathered seam requires control stitching and retains more fullness.  Directions:
1)  Gathering is the process of drawing fullness into a much smaller area by means of two rows of machine-basting.  From the right side, stitch one basting line just next to the seamline; stitch the second inch away in the seam allowance.      
2)  If seams intersect the gathering area, begins and end gathering stitches at seamlines.   Pin seam edges together at matching points, such as notches.
3)  Draw up bobbin threads, distributing fullness evenly.     
4)  Wind the drawn threads around a pin to secure gathers.
5) Pin and stitch seam with gathered side up.
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2005 04:25:00 PM »

Seam Finishing Techniques

Seam Finishing is any technique used to make a seam edge look neater and/or keep it from fraying.  Though it is not essential to the completion of the garment, it can add measurably to its life.  Three considerations determine the seam finish decision:
1)  The type and weight of fabric.  Does it fray excessively, or not at all?
2)  The amount and kind of wear and care the garment will receive.
3)  Whether or not the seams will be seen.
      
Bias-Bound
The Bias-Bound seam finish is especially good for finishing seams that will be seen.
Directions:
1)  Trim notches from seam allowance.            
2)  Press a crease along the 5/8 inch wide bias binding, with one side slightly wider.  (You can use ready-made tape, or cut your own from lining or underlining fabric).
3)  Sandwich the fabric edge in the binding with the wider part underneath.
4)  Stitch close to edge of top fold, catching underneath fold in stitching.

Hong Kong
The Hong Kong seam finish is a less bulky alternative to the bias-bound seam finish, this is especially suitable for heavy fabrics. 
Directions:
1)  Cut 1 inchwide bias strips from lightweight fabric that matches the garment fabric, or use purchased bias tape and press it open.
2)  With right sides together stitch bias to seam allowance, inch from edge.    
3)  Turn bias over the edge to the underside and press.
4)  From right side, stitch in crevice of the first stitching.
5)  Trim the unfinished edge of the bias.

Net-Bound
The Net-Bound seam finish is an inconspicuous and appropriate finish for delicate fabrics, such as velvet or chiffon.
Directions:
1)  Cut inch wide strips of nylon net or tulle   
2)  Fold in half lengthwise, slightly off center.
3)  Trim notches from seam edge and wrap net around edge and with wider side underneath.
4)  From top, edge-stitch narrow half of binding, catching wider side underneath in the stitching.

Zigzagged
The Zigzagged seam finish is a neat finish for lightweight fabrics on which the seam shows through.  It is the quickest and most effective way to finish a fabric that frays.
Directions:
1)  Trim seam allowance to half the original width.      
2)  Set stitch for medium width and short length (about 15 stitches per inch)
3)  Stitch on edge of seam allowance

Pinked
The Pinked seam finish is best used on fray-resistant fabrics, this is not a hardwearing finish.  For a harder-wearing using a short stitch, place a line of stitching 1/4 inch from seam allowance edge before trimming the edges with pinking shears.
Directions:
1)  Cut along the edge of a seam allowance with Pinking shears.         

For best results, do not fully open shears or close all the way to the points.  If fabric is crisp and lightweight, it is possible to trim two edges at once, before pressing open.  Otherwise do one edge at a time.  Pinking is attractive, but will not of itself prevent fraying.
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« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2005 04:26:17 PM »

Zipper Closure Techniques

Centered Zipper
The Centered Zipper application involves a conventional zipper. It is used at center front or centered back of a garment, at edges of sleeves, and in home decorating.
Directions:
1)  Stitch the seam, leaving an opening the length of the zipper teeth plus inch.  
2)  Finish the raw edges of the seam.
3)  Baste the edges of the zipper opening together along the seamline.      
4)  Press the seam allowances open, and turn the garment to the right side.  
5)  Extend the right-hand seam allowance and place zipper face down, with the top stop inch away from the top and the edge of the opened ladder or chain along the seamline; pin in place.  Using a zipper foot, machine-baste along stitching guideline on zipper tape.  Stitch from the bottom to the top.
6)  Close the zipper and keep the slider tab up.  Extend the remaining seam allowance.  Position the zipper foot to the left of the needle and machine-baste the unstitched zipper tape
7)  Turn garment right side up and spread it as flat as possible.  Starting at the center seam, hand- baste across bottom and up one side, inch from the seamline, catching garment seam allowance and zipper tape in basting.  Repeat for the other side.
8')  Change to a regular stitch length.  Begin at the bottom, and Top-stitch through all three layers.  Take two or three stitches across bottom of placket, pivot, and stitch to top.  Use the basting as a guide. Take care to stitch next to the basting, not over it.  
9)  Position the zipper foot to the right side of the needle and top stitch the remaining side in the same way, taking the same number of stitches across the bottom of the placket.
10)  Pull thread ends to wrong side and tie.  
11)  Remove hand-basted stitches.

Lapped Zipper
The Lapped Zipper application involving a conventional zipper.  Most often used at the left side seam or center back seam of pants, skirts, and dresses.
Directions:
1)  Leave on opening in the seam the length of the zipper plus inch.  Machine-baste the placket.  
2)  Press seam open; seam finish.
3)  To position the zipper, extend the right-hand seam allowance and place the zipper on it face down, with the top stop inch from the top and the edge of the ladder or chain along the seamline; pin in place.
4)  Using a zipper foot, positioned to right of needle, machine-baste on stitching guideline on zipper tape.      
5)  Position zipper foot to the left of the needle.  Turn the zipper face up, forming a fold in the seam allowance.  Bring the fold close to, but not over, the zipper ladder or chain; pin if necessary.  Stitch along edge of fold through all thicknesses.
6)  Turn garment to right side; spread fabric as flat as possible over unstitched zipper tape.  Hand- baste across bottom of zipper, then up along the side, about inch from the seamline.  This should place basting close to stitching guideline on zipper tape.
7)  Position zipper foot to the right of the needle.  Top-stitch close to the basting across the bottom of the zipper and up along the side, pivoting at the corner.
8')  Bring thread ends to the underside and tie.  Remove basting stitches.
   
Invisible Zipper
The Invisible Zipper is different from a conventional zipper in both appearance and installation.  When an invisible zipper is closed, all that shows on the garment is a plain seam and a tiny pull tab.  They can be used wherever conventional zippers are used.  Manufacturers supply a special zipper foot, designed to fit all makes of sewing machines, for installing this zipper, or a conventional zipper foot may also be used.
Directions:
1)  Press synthetic coil invisible zippers from wrong side with the zipper open so that the tapes are smooth and the coils stand away from tapes.  Don't close zipper until both sides have been stitched.
2)  Seam finish seam allowance edges.  Place open zipper, face down, on the right side of the garment with the coil along the seamline, and the top stop at the appropriate spot.  Pin if you need to.
3)  Using a concealed zipper foot, fit the right groove over the zipper coil, and stitch to the slider, and backstitch.
4)  Pin the other side of the zipper tape to the other garment side.  Place open zipper, face down, on the right side of the garment with the coil along the seamline, and the top stop at the appropriate spot.  
5)  Fit the left groove over the zipper coil, and stitch to the slider, and backstitch   
6)  Close the zipper.  Using the conventional zipper foot, with the needle to the right of the foot.  Lower needle into fabric at end of stitching, slightly above and to the left of the last stitch.  Finish stitching seam.

Fly-front Zipper
The Fly-front Zipper is the traditional zipper application for men's pants.  It provides a neat and durable closing.  Traditionally, the placket has a definite lap direction: in women's clothes it laps right over left (as explained here); in men's garments it laps left over right.  A special pants zipper is often recommended for use with this application.  
Directions:
1)  On right front, mark curve of top-stitching with hand basting; mark the symbol indicating bottom of placket.  Stitch front crotch seam from pattern marking to a point 1 or 1 inch from edge of inside leg.
2)  With right sides together baste right fly facing to right front edge, matching markings.  Stitch from marking at bottom of zipper placket to waist.  Remove the basting stitches.
3)  Trim and grade the seam allowances; open out the facing and press it and the seam allowances away from the garment.
4)  Position closed zipper face down on right side of facing.  The left edge of zipper tape should lie along facing seam and the  bottom stop should be inch from raw edge of facing.  
5)  Baste zipper in place, turning up bottom of left zipper tape even with the bottom stop.  
6)  Baste left zipper tape to facing from bottom to top.  On right side of zipper tape, stitch close to chain or ladder, using zipper foot and regular stitch length.  Stitch a second time close to edge of tape.         
7)  Turn facing to the inside of seamline.  Press. On outside of garment, baste fly facing to front, following original basted markings.  The Top-stitch from bottom to top along basted markings, being careful not to catch left zipper tape in stitching.  Pull threads to wrong side and tie.  Remove all basting stitches.
8')  With right sides together, stitch fly shield facing to fly shield on the unnotched edge.  Trim and grade the seam; notch the curve.  Turn shield to the right side and press (Note: if pants fabric is bulky, cut the shield of the pants fabric and the shield facing out of lining fabric.)
9)  To finish raw edge of shield, trim inch from shield on the notched edge.  Fold the facing over the raw edge of shield and stitch close to the fold.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2005 04:49:32 PM by JodiJean » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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JodiJean
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« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2005 04:27:18 PM »

Buttons and Buttonholes, Velcro Techniques

Buttonholes
Horizontal Buttonholes are placed 1/8 inch beyond the center line of the garment and extend (the length of the button) into the garment (not into the extension area).  Vertical Buttonholes are placed on the center line (not the edge) of the garment or placket.  The vertical spacing is determined by the deign of your garment.
Directions:
1)  Working on the correct side of the garment, insert the machine needle into the fabric at one end of the buttonhole.  Slowly zigzag stitch the length of the. desired buttonhole.  Complete this stitch with the needle down and on the side of the buttonhole opening
2)  With the needle down, raise the presser foot and pivot the garment completely around.
3)  Raise the needle position and adjust the zigzag width to the widest setting.  Stitch about five times at the end of the buttonhole (bar tack).
4)  Once again raise the needle position and readjust the zigzag width to the middle section.  Stitch the other side of the buttonhole the length of the button hole.
5)  Again raise the needle position and adjust the zigzag to the widest setting.  Stitch this end about five times (bar tack).
6)  Open the buttonhole by cutting through the middle of the stitches.

Flat Buttons
Flat Buttons are made with two or four holes and have the appearance of a fairly flat surface.  A shank needs to be constructed while the button is being attached to prevent the garment from pulling at the button location.
Directions:
1)  Continue to draw the thread through one hole of the button (from the wrong side) and down through the opposite hole (from the correct side of the button) into the fabric.
2)  Slip a straight pin underneath the thread on the correct side of the button.  Continue to follow the stitching process in step 1, repeat the stitches several times.
3)  Removes the straight pin from the button and pull the button away from the garment.  This will leave a shank created by the thread between the garment and the button.  Wind the thread tightly around this thread shank to complete the process.  Knot and cut the thread at the base of the shank.

Shank Buttons
Shank Buttons have a rounded or flat surface with a loop on the back.  They are recommended for closures on heavyweight garments such as coats.  An additional shank Is sewn when attaching a shank button similar to the procedure used to create a shank for flat buttons.
Directions:
1)  Take a couple of small stitches at the marking for the button on the garment.
2)  Continue to bring the thread through the shank of the button and back into the fabric.  While sewing the shank, hold the button away from the garment.  Stitch using this method about six times.
3)  While holding the button away from the garment, wind the thread tightly around the shank created by the thread.  Knot and cut the thread at the base of the shank.

Velcro
Velcro is a substitute for zippers and buttons.  Velcro is available in many widths and colors.  One layer has a hook side and the other layer has a loop side.  When these two layers are pressed together, they lock into place until pulled apart.
Directions:
1)  Position the hook portion of the strip to the underlay garment piece.  Edge-stitch around the entire piece.
2)  Position the loop portion of velcro tot eh overlapping portion of the garment.  Edge-stitch around the entire piece.
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« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2005 04:28:08 PM »

Miscellaneous Techniques

Pre-Shrinking Fabrics
Many fabrics shrink when laundered or dry cleaned.  The most common fabrics that will shrink a good deal are untreated, 100% cotton, linen, or wool.  Silk, rayon, polyester and other synthetic fabrics do not need pre-shrinking.
Directions:
1)  Place 100% cotton in the washing machine on the spin cycle.  The spin cycle will add a minimum amount of water without soaking the fabric.  Then place fabric immediately in the dryer. The applied heat will shrink the damp fabric.
2)  Take 100% wool and linen to the dry cleaners.  Ask the cleaners to steam and press your fabric.  The applied heat from the steam process relaxes the threads and shrinks the fabric.
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