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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Thread Tails ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Thread Tails
ChickenFreak
ChickenFreak
Advanced Beginner
OR USA
Member since 12/10/11
Posts: 145
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Date: 4/3/12 2:35 AM

So, I used to start and end every seam - except sometimes for basting - with a backstitch. But when I restarted sewing a few months ago, I found the little backstitched ball of thread to look bad. Now, when the seam end is going to be visible, for example with topstitching, I leave long thread tails instead of backstitching. I thread the right-side thread tails through a needle, one by one, take them through to the back, and tie them off in back.

My question is: Is this a good way to handle this? Is it normal? Am I being excessively persnickety or not persnickety enough?

ChickenFreak

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ChickenFreak
Blogness: http://chickenfreaksobsessions.blogspot.com/

rmusic1
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rmusic1
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UNITED KINGDOM
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 4/3/12 3:11 AM

I can understand the desire to avoid thread balls, especially when the fabric is delicate and fine. I have more recently been ending my seams by changing the stitch length to about 0.5 over several cms.

This has the benefit of being a) easier to unpick if need be compared to a thread ball b) no thread ball created and c) some fabrics have a slight tendency to gather when sewing. This technique allows me to to pull the whole seam straight, without the thread snapping.

I picked this up after learning to do to this for darts, where you certainly dont want a thread ball at the end.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to ChickenFreak <<


Date: 4/3/12 12:03 PM

I think that's fine. I don't do that with every bit of top stitching everywhere but if I had made an expensive Jacket or such, or just anything and had special or pick stitch top stitching/decorative top stitching on it, I would for sure do that too. On quick things, where it does not show or not as noticeable, then I would more more likely to just back stitch. So I think that is a perfectly normal way to sew actually.

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 4/3/12 12:43 PM

Just a tip:
Put your back stitching at the seam line not the edge of the fabric.
Can not tell you the number of times I have backstitched at the edge of the fabric then trimed the seam allowances and had the seam come undone. Usually happens at the neck edge on the shoulder seam. Then when I am putting the colar on or facing the seam comes undone.

------
Ada

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
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VA USA
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In reply to ChickenFreak <<
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Date: 4/3/12 3:05 PM

Like you, I used to use a needle to pull the thread tails through to the wrong side for tying. Then I read, and discovered through trying it, that if you tug on the wrong-side thread tail a little, it will usually pull a tiny loop of the right-side thread tail to the wrong side.

You can then use your seam ripper or other tool to hook the loop and pull the thread tail gently through. This cuts a lot of time off of the thread-tying business.

I am a really slow worker, so every little bit helps.

------
marjoriekh

homewerk
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homewerk  Friend of PR
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In reply to ChickenFreak <<
thumbsup 1 member likes this.


Date: 4/3/12 3:21 PM

A few weeks ago I posted a tip to use a self-threading needle to ease the chore of burying thread tails. Iím pretty obsessive about cleaning up the inside of my work. I like to end a seam by shortening the stitch length (like rmusic1 mentioned) but I donít like to just clip the thread close. Using a self threading needle speeds up the job and allows me to grab really short thread ends and pull them through if I need to.

------
Becky (I'm homewerk on Pinterest too!)
Babylock Elizabeth, Pfaff 2030, Brother 1034D Serger, Babylock Coverstitch, Grandmother's 1931 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer Slant-O-Matic 401A, 1954 Elna Supermatic
I love my toys!

Ms. Bijou
Ms. Bijou
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In reply to marjoriekh <<


Date: 4/3/12 5:25 PM

Quote: marjoriekh
Like you, I used to use a needle to pull the thread tails through to the wrong side for tying. Then I read, and discovered through trying it, that if you tug on the wrong-side thread tail a little, it will usually pull a tiny loop of the right-side thread tail to the wrong side.



You can then use your seam ripper or other tool to hook the loop and pull the thread tail gently through. This cuts a lot of time off of the thread-tying business.



I am a really slow worker, so every little bit helps.

This is EXACTLY what i do!! And I love it.
Ms. Bijou
Ms. Bijou
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In reply to marjoriekh <<


Date: 4/3/12 5:26 PM

And I'm also a slow poke.
-- Edited on 4/3/12 5:27 PM --

solosmocker
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solosmocker
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Date: 4/3/12 9:01 PM

I no longer back stitch. Instead I set my stitch length to zero and take two stitches. Then I turn it back to 2.5 or whatever I am using and continue sewing. It makes a much cleaner seam.

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http://lasewist.blogspot.com/

marjoriekh
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marjoriekh  Friend of PR
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VA USA
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In reply to homewerk <<


Date: 4/3/12 9:28 PM

homewerk -- I must get one of those needles the next time I'm at my independent fabric store. (I know they carry them.) I like to bury my thread tails, too, and detest threading the needles, esp. when I've goofed and left a short tail!

------
marjoriekh

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