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I've forgotten a simple rule
sewing side seams
lulurose
lulurose
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Date: 10/14/12 11:36 AM

Somewhere, I read that side seams on skirts should be be sewn from the widest to narrowest, or was it narrowest to widest?
This was a simple tip to keep the top and bottom edges lined up better. The skirt fabric is cut on the bias, if that makes a difference.
Thank you in advance :0)
stirwatersblue
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Date: 10/14/12 12:09 PM

Ooooh, I don't know if the bias changes the rules any, but according to the long thread we had on the subject this summer, I guess you're supposed to sew long seams bottom-to-top (hem to waist, for example, on pants/skirts). I haven't quite figured out how the garment knows what direction you're sewing--it can't be all about grain, because there's no way to predict what way on the grain you've laid out your pieces (unless there's a rule for that, too!). I don't mean whether you've laid them out on the grain or the cross grain, but which way the top or bottom of a piece was pointing when you cut it out.

Anyway. I've been doing it when it's seemed practical, just in case it does make a difference at some point.

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nancy2001
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In reply to lulurose
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Date: 10/14/12 1:00 PM

Widest to narrowest.

You can always conduct your own test by taking two layers of moderately long, triangle shaped fabric scraps and stitching them together. First sew the scraps from widest to narrowest. Then take another pair of triangles and sew them narrowest to widest.

Or just do one of Einstein's thought experiments. Imagine you're a presser foot in Vienna in 1905 encountering fabric moving underneath you, carried along by the feed dogs. Visualize the fabric as it moves. Wouldn't it seem jarring to have to deal with increasingly wide fabric passing underneath you? Wouldn't it seem easier to have the fabric be the same width or somewhat narrower as it moves along?

After that series of mental gymnastics, pack your bags and prepare to fly to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize for physics.

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No sewing project is ever a complete success nor a total failure.

Fruzzle

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Subject: Ive forgotten a simple rule Date: 10/14/12 2:50 PM

No Nobel prize for me. I don't get it.

Is it because you don't want to try to stuff the wider fabric between the needle and the machine?
nancy2001
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In reply to Fruzzle

Date: 10/14/12 3:58 PM

The reason seams should be sewn from wide to narrow has nothing to do with the space under the harp. It has to do with the fabric moving smoothly under the presser foot.

If the thought experiment doesn't work for you, just do the test with actual fabric. By the way, someone wrote a tutorial on this subject, but unfortunately, I can't find it online for you. Perhaps someone else will be able to provide the link.

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Nancy K
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In reply to stirwatersblue

Date: 10/14/12 4:33 PM

Actually there is a way to tell grain, especially on something like an a line skirt. If you run your finger up the edge the grain will either be noticeable, you'll see the thread ends or it will be smooth.
But, as Nancy said, wide to narrow and part of the reason is to keep the fabric on grain, since it will often creep a small amount by the time you get to the top. The hem edge needs to be parallel to the floor.
-- Edited on 10/14/12 4:36 PM --

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GlButterfly

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In reply to nancy2001

Date: 10/14/12 6:05 PM

Nancy, this is hilarious! However, try as I might, I cannot imagine that I am a presser foot in Vienna in 1905. Your description is a great visual--love it.

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PattiAnnJ
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Subject: Ive forgotten a simple rule Date: 10/14/12 7:18 PM

Use an even feed or walking foot and the layers will not shift.

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wenznz
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Date: 10/14/12 9:28 PM

Here is the blog post/tutorial that I think was included in the thread earlier in the year, that has photos to visually explain the wide to narrow reasoning

Gorgeous Fabrics Blog post

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Wendy
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to lulurose

Date: 10/14/12 9:55 PM

Quote:
This was a simple tip to keep the top and bottom edges lined up better.

I just hand-baste really well first, and they stay lined up. I've never heard of sewing seams from widest to narrowest.

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