People who have a passion for dressmaking know that the topstitch is one of the most important techniques to master. No matter what you’re making, a beautiful topstitch can make all the difference in the final results.
With that being said, even the highest quality sewing machine doesn’t change the fact that a topstitch can be one of the most difficult techniques to master. Uneven lines and imperfect corner turns aren’t uncommon results.
While practice makes perfect, having a few hacks and tips on hand never hurts either. The following tips are six to keep in mind the next time you’re faced with a tricky topstitch.
Planning is simply part of sewing. Winging it can be fun, but if you want amazing results, you have to put in the time to make it happen.
In the same way that you might prep your sewing machine for a project, you have to prepare for great topstitching. Sketching out exactly where you want lines and colors to land is a good start.
It’s important to pick a thread that accounts for color and texture results. The density, color, and finish of a thread will all affect the final look.
Typically, regular weight threads work well with light fabrics, while a metallic thread is perfect for creating visual contrast. Specialized topstitching thread is always a good idea, too, as these are manufactured to be a bit heavier.
It’s easy to think that you have to stick with a standard topstitching design -- but really, there are many to choose from! Before you fire up that sewing machine, commit to a straight stitch, triple stitch, or more decorative option that will make your final product pop.
While you’re laser-focused on creating straight lines, changing up the needle for better results might slip your mind. Don’t forget to consider the benefits of swapping out a universal needle for a sharper option. The results tend to be more defined with this quick and easy change-up.
Impeccable topstitching looks amazing, but the highly visible nature of this technique means even the slightest imperfection will be noticeable. Instead of depending on your own eye, invest in magnetic metal seam guides to get the job done right. If that’s too much, a ruler and some painter’s tape will accomplish the very same thing!
One of the hazards of topstitching is bubbling seams. Shifting layers are commonplace in the topstitching process.
Consider applying a line of water-soluble fabric glue to keep seams in place before stitching. It eliminates shifting and easily washes out when the project is complete.
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