The White Jacket - Part Six
Stitching the Seams
I'm still working on the beading, and hope to get the other front done today. I can then start some of the other construction while beading the lace on the sleeves. In the meanwhile, let's take a look at a few tips for stitching velvet.
There are several ways to prepare velvet seams for stitching. For most velvets, double basting is a good idea. I learned this tip through a comment when I was working on Midnight Garden, by NancyK. [Editor's Note: Apologies to NancyK, during the drafting stage I meant to go back and give credit for the tip, got distracted and had to come back later to add your name!] Basically, you baste both layers together, and then baste a second time, filing in the spaces that didn't get basted the first time with stitches. This works well with slippery velvets. The photo below is from Midnight Garden, and you can see the two different colors of thread for each set of basting stitches.
To actually stitch the seams, a few changes to the machine set up can help. Of course, always make a test sample. A walking foot will help feed the top fabric evenly, as the feed dogs take care of the bottom fabric. Reducing the presser foot tension is also helpful, if this is an option on your machine. You can also lengthen your stitch length and some authors also recommend a very narrow zigzag stitch, as if you were stitching a knit fabric. I chose to lengthen my stitch to 3mm. I also stitch with the nap, rather than against it.
Once the seams are stitched and pressed, they will need to be trimmed and graded if there are any extra layers. In this case, I've got an underlining, so I graded the seam allowances (sorry for the dark photo, but it is hard to photograph layers of white fabric):
For this project, I am catch stitching all the seam allowances to the underlining only. It is an extra step, but will keep things from shifting around the inside.
Tomorrow I'll show you the beading!
Parting Shot: Kiwi! She's somehow found a fuchsia pom-pom to play with. She's like a child, and will play with anything that she can push around.