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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Sewing on the bias....advice? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Sewing on the bias....advice?
LDT2011
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LDT2011
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UNITED KINGDOM
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Date: 3/1/12 5:11 AM

I've just ordered the colette pattern* 'Jasmine'. And I have read its cut on the bias. I've not sewn on the bias before. Do you have any tips or advice?

I have read some good stuff about the colette patterns. I hope I find it as easy.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

valkyrie01
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valkyrie01
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Quebec CANADA
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Date: 3/1/12 9:44 AM

hi LDT2011! My suggestions are make A LOT of space to cut (my 7 foot table is not wide enough, I cut on the floor for bias!), staystitch EVERYTHING (all the seam allowances) and make sure not to hang up the garment all the time. That is because it will lengthen itself with the gravity more than you want it to be. So try to store it flat from time to time.

Mostly, be patient! Bias cuts are fidgety but worth the effort because they look great!

Have fun!

LDT2011
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LDT2011
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In reply to valkyrie01


Date: 3/1/12 9:58 AM

Quote: valkyrie01
hi LDT2011! My suggestions are make A LOT of space to cut (my 7 foot table is not wide enough, I cut on the floor for bias!), staystitch EVERYTHING (all the seam allowances) and make sure not to hang up the garment all the time. That is because it will lengthen itself with the gravity more than you want it to be. So try to store it flat from time to time.



Mostly, be patient! Bias cuts are fidgety but worth the effort because they look great!



Have fun!

Thanks for the advice. I wouldn't have thought of stay stitching. I've got 4 metres of pastel pink polycotton to work with.
Do bias cut garments come out quite generous when it comes to ease?

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

Elona
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In reply to LDT2011


Date: 3/1/12 12:05 PM

Marcy Tilton, the bias maven (and sewing teacher and designer for Vogue) has written a terrific article for Threads magazine about working with bias. Here is the link.

In reading this, you will note that she takes the position that since gravity continually causes bias to stretch, the best course for the seamstress is to go WITH that fact, and even speed up the process by pre-stretching the cut-out pieces before sewing them. Since bias narrows when stretched, she also advises the use of 1 1/2" seam allowances (plus thread-tracing the stitching line). When sewing the long seams, she suggests using a slight zigzag to allow the finished garment to stretch evenly while you wear it, so as to prevent ripples along the seam--a straight-stitched seam is less stretchy than the bias-cut cloth.

All this is counter to the sewing advice I learned long ago, but I have attended Marcy's bias class, and have to say that her garments fit perfectly and hang just beautifully on the body.


-- Edited on 3/1/12 3:11 PM --

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Elona


Date: 3/1/12 12:55 PM

For this garment, Marci Tilton's article in Threads, which Elona has linked, explains things very well.
-- Edited on 3/6/12 10:14 PM --

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CathrynR
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In reply to LDT2011


Date: 3/1/12 1:34 PM

Stay stitching is a must for all bias edges. Once cut on bias the threads do not ravel, but they do burst and splay open thus effecting the length of your seam line. I always rough cut bias pieces of fabric, lay the pattern on it and trace the pattern cutting line on the pattern, then stay stitch by hand at about the seam line before even cutting the pattern piece out. This may seam a bit overkill, but it works beautifully to keep the seam lengths true after cutting before they can be stitched permanently. Stay stitching and hang time before hemming are what I keep in mind when constructing bias, and of course the inclusion of cf and cb seam for balance in any drapey type of garment.

Lena Merrin
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Lena Merrin
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Date: 3/1/12 4:10 PM

Always stitch from wide to narrow

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HarrietHomeowner

HarrietHomeowner  Friend of PR
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Date: 3/1/12 4:39 PM

Is it a good idea to use a walking foot when sewing bias seams (especially on slippy fabric)?

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Date: 3/1/12 7:42 PM

Interface the zipper seam allowances.

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Kayabunga
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Date: 3/2/12 7:12 AM

For your first bias project be sure to use a quality natural fiber fabric. Pre-wash and spray starch it when pressing within an inch of its life so it is almost as stiff as paper -- this will keep the bias edges from stretching in the normal course of sewing. While sewing, it's important to handle your fabric like you would handle a butterfly ... in other words don't yank the fabric around and kill the butterfly :). I find that most of the problems come from too much stretching during the sewing process (happens with knits too). Since the spray starch interferes with the natural drape of your fabric, your top won't look or drape very well until you wash the starch out. It would be a good idea to throw a muslin together to check fit. I love that top ... I'm making it too. Good luck ... bias isn't really that hard to work with just choose a quality fabric and give yourself some time.

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