27 July 2010

Sewing 101 with Kalleen, Topstiching basics

We welcome Kalleen from At Second Street.  I first found Kalleen's blog through SYTYC and have been a fan ever since.  

I wanted to share one of my favorite tips I've learned from my little sister, who just graduated from design school. She taught me to topstitch. While in school, her teachers emphasized that a main difference between store bought clothes and homemade clothes is in the details, like topstitching.
What is topstitching?
It's sewing a row of stitches close to the seam or edge of a garment, on the outer side of the fabric.
Basically it's a decorative stitch, that makes your clothes look more professional and can hold a seam in place. I use it most when I have layers with ruffles.
Here is a picture of a store bought sundress. The little arrows are pointing to the topstitching. It's not a stitch holding the pieces together but is over the top next to the seam.

Here is a closer look.

Here is a before and after and the process of adding the topstitch to a skirt I made.

A close up of where the band connects to the skirt bottom.

To create the topstitch all I did was line the seam up with the inside of my foot and sew a stitch 1/8" away. Top stitches are usually only 1/8" or 1/16" wide.

This is what it will look like. *Remember to go slow so you can do a straight stitch. You might want to practice a few times to get the hang of it.


It was fine before, but now looks a little more professional.

Here is another example of a topstitch I did on the neckline of another dress. Again the stitch wasn't needed but it helped the interfacing stay in place giving a crisp edge.

I have loved learning to sew this past year and consider myself a beginner. I'm so grateful for any tips I get. I hope this is a tip some of you might use. As with most things in life, it gets easier with practice.

Thank you so much, Kalleen.  The details we add to our projects really make the difference.  Please be sure to visit Kalleen's blog and check out some of her great projects like her amazing birthday cakes and dresses she's made. 

5 happy thoughts:

Nancy said...

Great tip! I think it was most obvious on that cute searsucker skirt. I am a beginner and I feel like I am getting the benefit of a sewing class! Thanks.

Maxabella said...

I am loving the Sewing 101 tutorials. I am printing them out to make a little folder for when I am ready to get serious about my desire to sew. Thank you so much.

Christina said...

I gave it a try on an outfit I was making and what a difference! Thanks for the tip!

Anonymous said...

wow, thanks for posting this... I came here via One Pretty Thing's daily DIY.

I really appreciated the lesson on topstitching. it truly finishes the garment!

Emily said...

Great tip! I'm in love with that skirt. Did you use a pattern??

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