This is a very short tutorial to teach you a couple of easy techniques that can have huge impact on your garment making. A lot of modern patterns skip these steps, often suggesting top-stitching instead. Top stitching is useful, even pretty in some cases, but it certainly isn’t refined. Once you understand grading and understitching you will see how useful they are. You can use these easy techniques in your facings, waistbands, linings and anywhere else that your seam allowance is pressed together and not open. Grading reduces the bulk of your seam allowance and encourages the seam to lie flat. The understitching keeps the inner layer from rolling to the outside and gives a clean, professional look.
For me, it’s the little tricks like these that really give me such pleasure and pride in my dressmaking.
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claudia@machen und tun
August 22, 2012 at 4:51 am
Thanks for another great tutorial. I don’t have a clue about sewing garments and I love these little guidelines on dressmaking. Keep them coming! 🙂 Your blog is already one of my favourites!
Thanks for the tutorial. I read about grading seams in Diana Rupp’s S.E.W. but didn’t really understand what it was for. This tutorial is very clear. Though I’m new to sewing and newer to making clothes, I’m interested in any tip to make the clothes more refined. That’s why I took the zipper clinic–so I can move beyond elastic waists!
Concha – I always love seeing your comments. It makes me incredibly happy that you enjoy the blog. I’ll try to keep the good tips coming.
Rachel – These little tricks make all the difference. Now that most of my students have moved past the beginner stage, I’m trying to get more technical. You’ll see more classes like the zipper clinic for things like pockets and collars in the near future. I’ll also keep posting these tidbits for you to keep adding to your repetoire.
Strawberry Shortcake was all about grade two for me, K.
My mom made me Strawberry Shortcake curtains and I hand stitched about 10 cushions from the leftover fabric!
Now, grade one, i was all over Fashion Plates. Remember?
and i’m not alone:
mb – omigosh!!! of course, fashion plates rocked! i’m praying right now that my mom has my fashion plates tucked away in a box somewhere in their basement. Otherwise I may have to pick one up on ebay. my mom kept most everything, so hopefully i can round up at least a couple fashion plate drawings. That was seriously one of the best ‘toys’ ever.
Thanks for the great tutorial! I never really understood understitching before and now it’s pretty clear to me. 🙂
Thanks for this fantastic tutorial. I learnt to sew from my mum who was a sewing teacher (about 30 year ago!!) and I have never seen this. So simple and yet so effective. Love it.
[…] is basically a way to prevent the facings/lining from rolling to the outside of the garment. This tutorial is as crystal clear as it […]
This is super helpful, thank you!
Oh how I miss Strawberry Shortcake.
thanks for the tutorial!! 😀 now i understand understitching 😉
I’ve understitched before but feel like I was doing it blind. The photos differentiating the trimmed and untrimmed seam allowances are particularly helpful. Thanks!
Thanks for the advice. I’ve been puzzling all day about the meaning of understiching. And it has explained why my last lined dress curled over at the neck
This is such an amazing and creative way to show us what understitching really is! I was really confused and had already gone through tens of websites trying to discover the difference between topstitching and understitching and how it worked. This is really easy to understand. How can I express my gratitude? Thank you so much!
I would like to print this out to keep in a folder for later use. Is there a way that I can do this?
Thanks in advance,
This tutorial is beyond helpful! Thanks.
wow, great tutorial, thank you so much!! i am a total newbie at garmet sewing and this will actually help me very much with my next project. thanks again!!