Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Old-Fashioned Sewing Techniques Had a Purpose

When I took sewing lessons several years ago, my teacher was especially excellent at showing me little tiny details that make for a more finished / professional look of a garment. One thing she taught me that I haven't really used (or thought I needed to use) until recently was the trimming of the inside seams when using a facing. At the time, I didn't really understand the reasoning, but with all the Oliver + S patterns I've sewn recently, this little trick has come in quite handy. The only time I've ever seen this technique illustrated was in the old sewing books.

When turning a facing seam, especially around collars, necklines, underarm sleeves and even hems, it is always necessary to trim the seams on the inside before turning. First trim both seam edges to 1/4 inch, then trim the FACING to 1/8 inch giving it a layered look. If the seam is especially curvy, I still clip the curves. When you turn it right side out, the facing (inside piece) will turn itself just ever-so-slightly more to the inside so that it isn't really seen from the outside. If your facing piece also includes interfacing - then you will triple-layer the trimming, cutting one just inside the other.

Posted by Picasa


Kathya said...

Great tip!!!!
i reallt need someone to teach me professional finish since i dont know if what i am doing is good, it looks fine though. :)

Kathya said...

the finished product looks great!!! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

The end result is lovely.
Thanks April!
Just Peachy

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I just discovered this too - after years of sewing. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the tip!
Your sewing skills are just amazing ;-)
I know I'll use this tip for my next project.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip!

Liesl Gibson said...

April, this is often called grading the seam allowances. It does work nicely if you take the time to do it.

Levi's Mommy said...

Why do this instead of simply clipping the curves? I always use pinking shears for things like this - does it look different in the end grading them instead of clipping?

April said...

@ Levi's Mommy... grading a seam is especially helpful when you are sewing multiple layers. Just pinking the seams for a couple thicknesses of fabric sewn together is fine and something I do as well, but when you get too many it can create some bulk on the finished side. Grading the seam will help reduce this and make it look more professional.