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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Seams To Fit Part 5: Staying - When a Seam Knows it's Place

Good Weft, Stay!
I stayed each section of my bustier by stitching
thin strips of silk organza just over the stay sticking lines. 
In the most recent Enchanted by Sewing Audio Podcast, Boning up on Bustiers Part 1, I chatted about warp and weft. I reminded fellow sewists that weft or horizontal threads are naturally a little stretchier than waft threads.

This knowledge is particularly important when draping and fitting patterns in muslin. If we want our garments to fit well, we need to make sure that fabric doesn't pull out of place once we've decided on what that place should be. 

A good seam needs to know it's place and stay there.

One way of keeping the weft threads stable is to stay stitch them, by stitching over, or just at tiny bit into the seam allowance from the stitching lines. I stay stitched every single top and bottom of the garment stitching lines in my bustier. Those included 16 pieces cut in 4 fabrics! 

I also stayed each section of my bustier at the top, where the garment would need to stay firmly in place and not display portions of my anatomy unexpectedly. Staying is an extra strengthening step for portions of garments that need to work really hard to keep the body in place. Waistbands are another place I might stay. The spiral steel bones I inserted into my inner shell to provide stand up support are also called stays.

I stayed the bustier sections using strips of silk organza cut 1.5 inch wide then folded lengthwise. Yes, real silk organza has different characteristics than polyester organza. It's strong, stable and adds very minimal bulk. People also stay with twill tape. 

I have also stayed the shoulder seams on tee shirts by sewing down my seam allowances on either side of the already sewn seam. That results in a very stable decoratively stitched look that discourages the front and back pieces from sliding down over the shoulder. You could also stitch in the ditch of a tee shirt shoulder seam using a strip of silk organza, twill tape or other very stable fabric.

Understanding how fabrics work in a garment, and working to increase the stability of my seams - really teaching them to know their place - is another thing that keeps me...
Enchanted by Sewing.
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Web Resources

Straight of Grain  - http://meencantacoser.blogspot.com/2013/10/patterns-haiku-straight-of-grain-runs.html

Enchanted By Sewing Audio Podcast: Bustiers Part 1

Stay Stitching - http://sewing.about.com/od/sewingglossarypt/g/staystitching.htm

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