Thursday, April 30, 2009

On edge...

Topstitching is one of those things that can either make or break a project. It adds so much durability and detail to a seam, but it must be straight and even to give a nice finish. I usually topstitch 1/8" from an edge or seam. Edgestitching is topstitching that is even closer to an edge or seam - more like 1/16" . The pattern I'm working on right now involves edgestitching at the hems, neckline, and facings. It gives a very professional finish, and isn't any more difficult than topstitching.

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Edgestitching can be done with a basic sewing machine foot. I've been using my clear one because I like to see what is going on with the fabric under the foot. It is just a matter of finding the proper needle position, a reference point for the edge on the foot, and keeping the fabric in line and feeding evenly.

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Edgestitching can also be used to hold very thin folds in place. The facing below was edge finished with zig-zag stitching and ironed into a narrow fold.

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I aligned the center of the presser foot with the folded edge and set the needle to a good edgestitching position. This put the stitching right through the center of the fold, giving a nice little hem to the facing.

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Edgestitching can also be used to attach a facing directly to the inside or the outside of a garment.

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As I mentioned, edgestitching isn't technically difficult, it just requires focus and patience...two things that I lack. If I'm in a happy place sewing-wise, I'll often zone out and run off the road, so to speak. And if I'm in a huff and not in the mood to sew, I tend to speed and have terrible accidents. For piecing fabrics, I have a quarter-inch foot that does wonders for keeping me in line, no matter what my state of mind. I did a little research on the web, hoping there was a similar foot to help me with my edgestitching. I found that a couple of machine manufacturers make edgestitching feet, but not mine. So I went to my local dealer and just asked for the heck of it. The owner actually gave me a couple of options, but steered me towards the Ditch Quilting Foot.

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It has a blade in the center that acts as guide for stitching right inside or very close to a seam.

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It also works like a dream for edgestitching!

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This is one of those things I wish I had learned about 20 years ago. It wasn't very expensive, and it is going to make such a difference in my sewing. Now I can just cruise along in la-la land, edgestitching with speed and accuracy.

12 comments:

LaVigne Family said...

I am going to have to look to see if i can find one of those for my machine. grat find! =)

Courtney said...

Nice! I am often in La La land while sewing! Maybe this would help me out!

Your machine looks just like mine (At least the little bit that is showing!), is it a Kenmore?

Mindy said...

This is so cool! Now I have one more thing that I really need!

Jamie said...

I love your blog name! I'm a scientist turned mom turned monogrammer and an aspiring seamstress. And I love that foot-- I've already ordered one for my Janome! Thanks for the tip!

...t. said...

BRILLIANT!!

Tom said...

I have one of those feet! I love it for edgestitching. I use it alot for handbag straps!

Love the fabric your using for your samples! ;)

HeatherSue said...

I think I have one of those feet for my machine!! My cousin gave me a bunch of feet when she permanently lent me her embroidery machine. I'm almost sure there's a foot that looks like that in the bunch. Thanks for telling me what it was for!

Cathy said...

oh I gotta get one of those! I end up with wobbly lines even if I try hard to go straight! Thanks Carla for the tutorial! Oh and that is really pretty fabric.....could it be.....Jennifer's by chance? Love it!

gigi said...

Wow, first glance at your blog (thanks to #gno) and I get a spectacular bit of info -- I'm going to get me one of those pronto! :)

andrea said...

it really is worth it getting those

susan said...

Thanks so much for that tip! I'm definitely going to get one since top-stitching and edge-stitching tend to be my most frustrating part of completing a project (getting it nice and straight).

Trillium said...

LOL I have been doing this for awhile - that handy dandy foot is a lifesave!! ;)