Staystitching: What It Is and Why It Matters
The stitching placed along a bias or curved seam to prevent the fabric of a garment from stretching while the garment is being made.
Why It's Important:
Staystitching is a row of stitches on a single layer of fabric. Those stitches prevent a curved or angled edge from stretching during the construction process. When done correctly, these stitches won't show on the front side. They are most commonly used with woven patterns on necklines and armscyes but are also occasionally used in knit patterns as well. Regardless of the fabric type, don't ever skip it, because those stitches WILL affect the overall appearance of the garment if they’re overlooked.
How to Do It:
Staystitches are regular-length stitches. They are not removed like basting or ease stitches typically are. A row of staystitching should be sewn about 1/8 inch outside the seamline or about 1/4 inch from the cut edge on the 3/8" seam allowance that Bella Sunshine patterns use. Be careful not to stitch across the seamline because the stitches will show on the garment’s right side.
Sew directionally, with the grain, to prevent distortion. Usually, this means sewing from the top to the bottom of a neckline or sleeve to protect the integrity of the curve.
The Moral of the Lesson:If a pattern calls for staystitching, don't skip it! It will ensure your garment goes together well, lays well, and looks just as good after multiple washes as it did when you first finished it. Plus, a well made and properly constructed garment will allow years (and sometimes even generations) of enjoyment!
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