How to Understitch

Hey, you!

I like to think of understitching as the best friend of topstitching and edgestitching!

While the other two can have a dual personality — functional and/or style detail, understitching is ONE thing:


So if you’re ready, let’s begin with the…

Rules of Understitching

Rule #1: If you’re finishing an edge with a shaped facing or applying a collar, then you cannot, must not skip understitching!

Rule #2: Prior to attaching a shaped facing, you have to interface the facing or the edge that the facing will be finishing!

Now, here’s…

How to Understitch

It’s really not difficult, but you do have to take your time, so you can be precise!

seam allowances understitched

  1. Align the right side (RS) of the facing to the RS of the garment’s edge.
  2. Now, grade and clip seam allowances (SAs) as needed before understitching. Did you notice that the SA of the facing is graded in half?!

seam allowances graded & clipped prior to understitching

  1. Then, press the SA up towards the facing.
  2. Next, from the RS, edgestitch the SAs to the facing. You want to position your needle very close to the seam, no more than 1/8 inch away. (See the featured image at the very top of the page.)

Take your time here.

  1. Finally, press the facing to the inside of your garment, rolling the RS of the garment ever so slightly towards the inside of the garment. This will be easier because of understitching!

And you’re done!

If you’ve done this right, your facing will hopefully have the good manners to know its place, which is INSIDE the garment!

RELATED: I kinda hate shaped facings, but if you want to see a video of this technique, click HERE.

perfectly understitched curve from right side

The End

Along with the staystitch, the topstitch, and the edgestitch, you need to know when to, the value of, and how to understitch!

So remember this:

When applying shaped facings, you must, you must understitch. Because it is the only way to show them who’s the boss!

Plus, it is the only way to end up with a professional end result.

And remember…

Life is the ultimate red carpet event. Dress for it!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn other basic sewing skills you need to sew garments you are proud to flaunt!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn about the three types of edge finishes, including the shaped facing!

RELATED: Click HERE to learn how to change your stitch length!

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