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What does it mean to "understitch" ?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey mamas,

I'm making ds a pirate costume for halloween and the directions for the (lined) vest say to "understitch lining as far as possible". What does that mean? The directions are so vague, I just don't get it. I haven't sewn anything from a pattern since high school...I'm a basic quilter. Help!
post #2 of 8
Understitching means to top stitch the Facing to the layers of seam allowance underneath it. In the olden days, when I learned to sew, this operation was called "stitch in a ditch".
You want to topstitch the Facing as close to the seam where the outside of the vest is sewn to it, making sure to catch all the seam allowances underneath. This operation keeps the facing flat inside the vest where it covers the seams allowance and stays. Along with any interfacing, it helps to support the armholes and neckline of the garment. In some places, this facing may be impossible to lay flat on the sewing bed-the area is too narrow or closed and you can't open it up enough. Usually this happens when you have a facing that combines the armhole and the neckline all in one, or you come to the closure where the buttons or zipper is. In those cases, you just understitch the Facing down as far as possible until you come to the point where it will no longer lay flat and go under the feed dog. HTH. PM me if you like.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you soo much!! That makes so much more sense the the directions in the pattern. Now for my stupid question...is the Facing the outside or the lining?
post #4 of 8
The facing is on the inside- it is the lining. It's the part that faces or surrounds the armhole or neckline seam. Garments will have a full lining or a partial lining. This partial lining is called the Facing.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks!! You are my personal sewing advisor today! Thanks for your answer to my other thread too, I don't know why I didn't think of that!

So basically, I want to sew the lining to the seam allowances. I can do that!
post #6 of 8
I am happy I could help! I want to mention one more thing. It may seem easier to sew from the inside where the seam allowance is showing but it comes out much better if you sew the lining right side up-topstitch- and just keep feeling for the seam allowance to be sure it is getting sewn. Did the pattern call for you to clip the seam allowance at the curves, or trim it out. anything like that, first?
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I did it! I worked on it last night and it was no problem! Thanks again, I'll be sure to post finished pics!
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreac View Post
Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I did it! I worked on it last night and it was no problem! Thanks again, I'll be sure to post finished pics!
Cool-Can't wait!
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