Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Confession

These classic shampoo bottle "instructions" are practically a joke nowadays, and I don't know anyone who actually shampoos twice each time (much to the disappointment of the shampoo companies, I'm sure!).

But it occurred to me that we have something similar in our sewing instructions. Certain seams - such as when you are inserting sleeves - often call for two passes with the machine - a row of basting followed immediately by a row of stitching.

My confession - I rarely do this. Basically, I only do it when I am doubtful of my ability to get a good fit (no puckers, etc.) the first time.

So, how about you? How often do you do the row of basting first, before the regular stitches? When do you do it? If you don't do it, why not? Does anyone know the reasoning behind these instructions?


CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I try my best to insert sleeves flat not in the round. If I have to insert them in the round then I'll rather pin the living daylights out of it like this tutorial from
Anne at Gorgeous Fabrics

mamafitz said...

i use ease stitching when i set a sleeve, but i don't use the long stitch like most directions recommend. i use a regular stitch length (2.2 on my machine. 6.0 is basting length). i just pin, i don't baste it in and then stitch. unlike anne, i prefer to set sleeves in the round, not flat.

i also admit i do wash my hair twice, but i only wash my hair 1-2x/week or so. :)

mamafitz said...

oops. i meant unlike *carla-f*, i like setting sleeves in the round.

Unknown said...

I will baste if I have questions about the fit of something, or if it's a really expensive/fragile fabric. Or if there are pleats. Or curvy seams. Or trim.
But... About half of my basting is by hand and not on the machine.

katherine h said...

I baste pleats in place. I baste straps in place. I baste in invisible zippers before I sew them so that I don't have to line them up and try and hold the coils open and sew a straight line all at once. If I think something could go wrong or points possibly not match up, I baste first as it is easier to rip out basting stitches and redo rather than the shorter stitches.

Sarah E. said...

I never do it. BUT I do sew every sleeve twice just to reinforce it and make sure it doesn't come out. That way it still has the same number of seams in it. I sew once at 5/8 and again at 1/4 inch seam allowances.

Sarah E. said...

Forgot to add above. I do baste if I see a need for it but not otherwise. Like gathering, stay-stitching knits, etc. but for things like sleeves or attaching skirts I simply sew twice.

debbie said...

I do a lot of knits and I always baste the ss to check fit before going to the serger.

I'll baste tricky parts to make sure everything stays in place But for the most part I rarely baste.

Lisa Laree said...

The only sleeves I ease stitch are those in which there is more than a pinch of ease to be worked in. The feed dogs will do some of the easing, if you sew with the sleeve on the bottom and are practiced up.

But if the sleeve style is at all puffy, I do the ease stitching. If I'm really trying to be perfect, I'll pin them in first, then use the ease stitching to pull the excess fabric up to match the pinning. And I will pull them separately, because the line closet to the raw edge really needs a different amount of fabric pulled in.

But, you must understand, I'm rarely trying to be that perfect. ;)

Shannon said...

When I'm setting in sleves, I sew them so that there are two rows of stitches in the underarm, most often by starting and ending the stitches a couple of inches from the seam lines. The extra stitches there help keep the seam from popping (especially important with little kid's clothes.) I sometimes do a similar thing with crotch seams.
I never do the basting stitches first first with set in sleeves, even when I'm having trouble easing things in. In fact, I'll usually just resew one of the seams and trim off the extra fabric.
Actually, to be truthful, the most common way I attach sleeves is to attach the sleeve to the garment before I sew up the side seam. That way it's much easier to whack off the extra when things don't line up.