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Topic: New to sewing- seam and hem question  (Read 548 times)
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« on: June 17, 2008 10:23:18 AM »

hi, I'm pretty new to sewing, as in, I learned how to do a straight stitch 9which wasn't straight really) and just doing that I was hooked. my MIL bought me a machine and I'm taking a class once a week. I went to Joann's today and bought the pre-smocked material by the inch and was wondering....how hard is it to sew a seam (this material you sew a seam and hem it and sew on straps)? What about the hem?

I'm eager to learn how to do it all, but I need to slow down and take it one project at a time really......but those were my pressing questions I had (since I hadn't had a chance to ask the instructor how hard those are).

Is there a specific stitch you use for either one??? Do you use bias tape on all hems or just specific ones?



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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2008 11:02:52 AM »

Hi, Katie!  First, check to make sure your fabric isn't already pre-hemmed (some of it is)...then, if it is, check to see if that length is okay.  If both of these are "yes", then yay, no hemming!  For which you don't always need bias tape.  Particularly at the bottom of a skirt or top, you can just turn your fabric under (twice if you want to hide the cut edge of it), pin, press, and sew.  Typically with a straight stitch, unless your fabric is stretchy, and you want/need to preserve that stretch.  Similarly, a seam is usually sewn with a straight stitch.  Just sew a few stitches, reverse, sew a few stitches back to make sure your threads don't come undone, then sew down your seam, do the same backward stitch at the bottom to finish it off.  There are many other, more complicated, methods of doing fancy seams, but this'll do ya for now.  You may want to run a zig-zag stitch in your seam allowance, to keep your fabric from fraying.  Then, voila, you're done!

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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2008 04:49:15 PM »

but those were my pressing questions

ha ha! Funny you should use that phrase Smiley Best way for  a beginner anyone to get a beautiful hem is to iron it first. Folding twice, as Aislynn said, use a ruler or the funny little hem measuring doohicky they sell on the notions wall to make a nice even hem all around.

If you are still not sewing straight lines, practice on lined paper Smiley You don't even need thread as the holes will show where you stitched. You can also draw spirals or circles & practice sewing curves too. Once you can follow the line with your needle, shift the line over to the edge of the foot or even use a marker (at 5/8" is best as that is a very common seam allowance) and practice keeping your line there.
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2008 11:17:27 PM »

Be careful with the pre-shirred stuff I just made a dress from it and the stitching came undone, I don't know if it was where it was cute at the fabric store or if it was how I sewed my seam but either I was totally ticked!!!
Here is my pre-shirred before it came un-shirred!


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