“There Are No Hard and Fast Rules in Sewing…”… except for one. Always sew from wide to narrow.” -Susan Khalje
During the weekend sewing class, this subject came up. I don’t know about you, but when I make an A-line skirt, I sew starting at the waist, and ending at the hem. It’s how I always have sewn my skirts. It works fine on straighter styles, but I’ve never been very happy with the results on my A-lines. They always seem to be a little wavy, which bugs me. Well, when Susan uttered those words, I looked at her and said, “I’m going to test that out!” So here you can see the results of that exercise. First off, I cut two “A-line skirts” (mockups) from some heavy silk charmeuse I have lying around. Silk is good to use as an example because it shows every ripple, bump and lump. But you can do this test on any fabric and you’ll get similar results.
The first one I did was the narrow-to-wide version. As I said, this is my usual method.
And here is the result I get.
As I joked in the class, it looks like my usual A-line skirt. But in seriousness, the rippled seam has always driven me crazy. I press it, and it still has some distortion.
Next, I sewed it from wide to narrow. Other than reversing my usual direction, I made no changes – same needle and thread, same stitch length, same tension:
Now look at the result.
Here’s a picture of the two pieces, side by side:
What a difference the direction of your sewing makes! I’m not a textile scientist, but it has to do with the stability of the fabric along the diagonal. If someone (Kathleen?) has a thorough explanation, let me know and I’ll be happy to link to it. But the fact is, it works. And it’s something that I will do from now on.
Parting Shot: The Header Fabric
Several people have written to me asking about the new header fabric and where they can find it on the site. Alas, it is the only piece and it’s my own. It’s an alpaca blend that I bought at one of my vendors. She only had 4 yards, so I grabbed it. I brought it out in the class and we were all pawing it. It’s really gorgeous and simply sumptuous to the touch. Neener neener neener! Oh wait, that’s not very gracious, is it? Sorry.
Seriously, I have asked said vendor to see if they can get me more. If so, I’ll let you know! In the meantime, it’s destined to become my next Chanel-style jacket.
HTH, and happy sewing!