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Topic: sewing questions: topstitching and spaghetti straps  (Read 2039 times)
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« on: August 21, 2009 08:09:12 AM »

please indulge a clothes sewing novice... Smiley

on topstitching:  how does one keep the stitching in place?  for example, i use bias binding/tape around a neck hole.  i topstitch it closed because it's the one way i know of how to do it. i backstitch on my bernina 230PE (which only goes back one stitch i think) something like 5 times.  what i get is a very secured stitch but a really bulbous and ugly stitch on my garment.  there's a secure stitch on my machine where the needle goes up and down in place several times before sewing.  could i get away with just doing that?  i have this problem too when i'm hemming, where i backstitch several times and then i end up with this really think line of stitches.  yuck.

on spaghetti straps:  i'm making straps/strings to be tied over the shoulders of a dress or close a kimino.  i'm using bias tape/binding (what is the right phrase? in quilting, i just call it binding...) and i don't know how to make the ends look nice and finished.  i fold the raw edge in 1/8" twice over and sew it shut, but sometimes the edges peep out or it just looks wonky and bulbous (bulbous is a theme in my sewing apparently...).  is there a better way to do this?

thank you!!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2009 06:01:37 PM »

when i make spaghetti straps out of bias tape I just sew it up and then tie a knot at the end. it may fray a little but it still looks cute.

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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2009 08:46:48 AM »

Backstitching: On a hem or a stitch where you end the stitch where you started, I don't backstitch. I just sew on the stitch line several stitches past the beginning. When I do actually need to backstitch, I sew in reverse for two or three stitches and then forward again. The backstitch function on my machine does a different type of stitch depending on what stitch it is set on. Some use an actual backstitch, others use a stay stitch (usually on stitches that aren't straight.).

On straps: Unfold the bias tape and fold the unfinished end under, then refold the tape down. Your unfinished edges are now on the inside of the tape and will secure when you sew the tape shut. You can also just tie the end. If you don't want it to fray at all, you can put a little fray check over the end near the tie.
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2009 05:16:00 PM »

thank you all so much!  i really appreciate all of your great advice.  you all rock.
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009 12:25:24 PM »

And, yes, you could probably also get away with using the "stitch in the same place up and down several times" function, as well. That's technically what it's there for. If your machine has an autocut function, you can really get away with just the one backstitch and then autocut - the autocut will do a sort-of tie-off (or at least that's how it's worked in the machines I've used) that help prevent unraveling.

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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2009 06:58:08 PM »

It really does depend. I followed the twice-as-wide rule and ended up with a piece of fabric that was still too small by a few inches. So definitely err on the side of larger! If you need tot rim alter that's OK, just use a tight stitch to stitch down the side, right inside where you want to trim, so the elastic doesn't ping out. A tight stitch sort of holds it in place, otherwise it all comes unshirred.
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