WHAT IS IT?
Staystitching is permanent machine stitching that is used to keep curved edges, such as armholes and necklines, from stretching out as you work with the pieces.
WHEN DO YOU USE IT?
You won’t be able to see it on finished garments, but all curved edges should be staystitched so the fabric doesn’t stretch out. This includes necklines, armholes and waistlines. Pattern instructions will usually tell you when to staystitch. It’s generally one of the first things you do when the pieces are freshly cut. You may be instructed to staystitch after a section of the garment has been completed, such as on the skirt of a dress.
Tips + Notes
- Make sure your staystitching doesn’t stray outside the seam allowance or it will show when the seams are sewn.
- Slow down around the curves if needed.
- If it’s hard to sew around curves evenly, draw a stitch line with chalk or marker and follow the guide as you stay stitch.
WHAT TO STAYSTITCH
- All curved edges
- Straight edges of fabric that frays easily
- Necklines, waistlines, armholes
- Princess seams
WHAT NOT TO STAYSTITCH
- Edges that will be eased (page link) to fit another edge, for example, sleeve caps
- Edges that will be stretched to fit another edge
- Outer edges of facings (page link)
HOW TO STAYSTITCH A NECKLINE
Set your machine to a regular stitch length and line up the fabric edge with the ½” (1.3mm) line.
Start stitching at the shoulder and work toward the center of the neckline. Stitch past the center front by several stitches.
Turn your work over, and start stitching at the other shoulder, working toward the center of the neckline. Overlap the previous stitching by two or three stitches and stop.
Follow the same staystitching method for waistlines, armholes and other curves, always working from the high point of the edge to the low point.
If you are staystitching around a corner, sew off the edge of the fabric and start again on the other edge, instead of pivoting around the corner.
Compare the fabric piece to the original pattern piece to see if you may have changed the edge after staystitching by either stretching it out or tightening it up. If the fabric has stretched, pull the staystitching threads until the fabric matches the pattern. If the fabric has pulled up, clip the threads at a few points to release the edge.
Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine