The value of taking the time to staystitch is to avoid curved edges, such as necklines and armholes, stretching out of shape during construction.
And staystitching does this by holding the grain line threads in place. In other words, staystitching stabilizes curved edges.
Okay. Now for the rules…
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Rules of Staystitching
Rule #1: You MUST staystitch immediately after cutting your pattern out!
Rule #2: You ALWAYS staystitch your fabric in a single layer.
Rule #3: Regardless of seam allowance width, you ALWAYS stitch ⅛ inch from the stitching line inside the seam allowance (SA).
Rule #4: You don’t need to remove staystitching.
And, of course, there are several ways that you can stabilize your edges…
2 Ways to Staystitch
Here are two of the easiest ways to make sure your curved edges know their place:
- Using your sewing machine, set your stitch length to 2.2mm and sew your staystitching line; or
- Finish your all edges with a 3-step zigzag BEFORE construction of your garment. Don’t use a regular zigzag for this.
Alright. It’s time to learn how simple it is to staystitch…
Staystitching Is Directional
These are the precise directions in which you need to staystitch curves:
To staystitch a scoop neck bodice…
- Neck point (NP) to center front (CF) or center back (CB) on scooped necklines and collars
- NP to shoulder point (SP) on shoulder seams
- SP to underarm on armholes
To staystitch a V-neck, stitch from the point of the V up to the NP on one side; and then repeat on the other side.
To staystitch a skirt, stitch from…
- Side seams to CF or CB at waistline; and
- Hipline up to waist at the side seams.
Alright. Now that you know the direction in which to go, let’s learn how to staystitch…
How to Staystitch
- Set your stitch length to 2.2m. This slightly shorter stitch length will allow you to take curves more precisely.
- Then, position your fabric in a single layer under your presser foot.
- Stitch inside the seam allowances (SA) ⅛ inch from the stitching line. In other words, if you’re using the standard 5/8 inch SA, you would be stitching ½ inch from the raw edge.
- Staystitch one side of the garment piece from the right side (RS), and then flip it so you can the staystitch the other side from the WS.
In other words, to staystitch directionally, you will have to stitch the garment piece from the RS on one half, and then flip it to staystitch the other half.
- Once you’ve completed staystitching your garment piece, layer the tissue pattern piece on top of garment piece to make sure the garment piece’s size and shape match the tissue pattern’s piece.
Pro tip: For curved seams, stay stitching gives you a point to clip to.
RELATED: Click HERE to learn all about clipping seam allowances!
Well, there you have it.
You now know that staystitching stabilizes curved edges and how to put this very important skill in action.
It is a crucial first step in constructing insanely well-made clothes. Don’t skip it!
Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn the basic skills you need to sew insanely pretty clothes!
RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to change your stitch length.
RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to sew convex and concave curves!
RELATED: Click HERE if you’re ready to begin this journey and would like to buy my recommended tools and supplies!
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