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R.Kay Design: Topstitching

Friday, June 17, 2011


I remove the pins as I sew.
I mentioned in my post this morning that I wanted to do a post about topstitching. Topstitching is not easy for me, it seems the slower I go the more I get off track. But going fast doesn't help either! So, I had to find a way to help me make the line straight.

Most of you can probably use the methods shown in Wendi Gratz's very good video tutorial and do just fine, so I thought I would give you a link to that tutorial on her website, Shiny Happy World. She shows you how to have the edge of your fabric follow the edge of your presser foot or to place blue painter's tape on your machine so you have a line to feed the edge of your fabric against. Very good information as is all the tutorials found on her site.

Satin Stitch Foot
Use the edge to guide the edge of your fabric.
However, then there are those who still can't get it straight, like me. So I found another way. I happened on this only because my sewing machine came with a satin stitch foot.  Take a look at my photos, I hope you can see what I'm talking about. Down the center of the bottom side of the foot there is a tunnel. Basically there are two strips of metal on each side of the foot that run parallel with the stitch. These metal strips rest on the fabric leaving the center of the foot hollow. This creates a tunnel for the satin stitch to run through.

The edge of each piece of metal is 1/8th inch from the needle on both sides. I use that edge to run the edge of my fabric against and the stitch goes exactly 1/8th inch from the edge. It works perfectly, I hardly have to guide the fabric at all and I get perfectly straight topstitching.

My machine is a low shank presser foot and the different feet just snap on and snap off. Easy as pie. I trade feet back and forth constantly changing to the correct foot as needed.

If you have a satin stitch presser foot, give it a try.

Until later ~


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At June 17, 2011 at 10:01 PM , Blogger Bethany said...

You know what helps me? I line up my seam towards the left side of the foot and move my needle over 1/8 inch. I wish I could move my needle to the right as that's how my brain is oriented, but it only shifts left...but it helps me get nice even stitching because I can match up with the edge of my foot and stitch not too far from the edge.
Whatever it takes, right ? :)

At June 18, 2011 at 9:48 AM , Blogger Reba said...

You got that right - as many years as I've been sewing I JUST ran across my new technique. I also saw something in Lisa Lam's Handbag Bible where there is an attachment that screws down to the plate and acts as a guide on the right side but I can't find the attachment...hmmm...I'll just keep looking but until then, the satin foot for me.


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