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Forum > Beginner's Forum > sewing a perfect front band? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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sewing a perfect front band?
How on earth do I do this?
peachfuzz
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peachfuzz
Beginner
Colorado USA
Member since 8/21/09
Posts: 4
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Date: 1/22/10 4:11 PM

Hi all - I seem to still be struggling with front and other bands that are first sewn to the garment, then folded in half and at the seam allowance, and sewn down on the other side of the garment, enclosing all the seam allowances. No matter how perfectly I press, the band seems to stretch out as I sew the second seam - making the band ripple and pucker. Do you have any tips for sewing in this kind of band neatly?

Sew4Fun
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Sew4Fun
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 6/23/04
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In reply to peachfuzz


Date: 1/22/10 4:22 PM

Are you interfacing the band? Usually these bands have fusible interfacing and this is what stops it from stretching.

The other trick is to reduce your machine's presser foot pressure. (If you own a Pfaff then you can also engage the IDF.) The presser foot drags on the fabric stretching it slightly as you sew, or just moving the top layer as you sew. Therefore when doing any sort of topstitching reduce the presser foot pressure, and hold the fabric taut as you sew by grasping the fabric both in front of and behind the presser foot. Lots of pins can also help.

Oh, the third trick. As you are holding the fabric taut, with the hand in front of the foot, lift the fabric off the machine bed and hold it there. This makes the top layer feed at a greater rate and helps with fabric creep.

If all else fails use fabric glue and glue it down before sewing. This stops the layers from shifting.

-- Edited on 1/22/10 4:26 PM --

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

Pinkytoo
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Pinkytoo
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Nevada USA
Member since 6/23/06
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In reply to peachfuzz


Date: 1/22/10 4:24 PM

Steam A Seam. When you fold the band over, use the 1/4" wide Steam A Seam when you press the seam allowance in; and then stitch it. The Steam A Seam keeps the fabric "glued" in place.

Sheesh - I have extolled the virtues of Steam A Seam in som many different posts they should hire me as a marketing agent!

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Sewing is my therapy!

peachfuzz
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peachfuzz
Beginner
Colorado USA
Member since 8/21/09
Posts: 4
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Date: 1/22/10 4:34 PM

oh wow, great tips, thanks ladies! I never thought to use something to hold the band in place as I sewed. I can't wait to try this tonight!

One other question: Should I be sewing that second seam from the front of the work, so I can make sure it follows the first seam very closely? Or if I am doing it from the back, how can I make sure that it looks good from the front and doesn't wave too close to/far away from the front side edge of the band?

Sew4Fun
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Sew4Fun
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AUSTRALIA
Member since 6/23/04
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In reply to peachfuzz


Date: 1/22/10 4:58 PM

Ah yes, this is another trick. Sew the band, right side of band to wrong side of garment. Then when you fold in half and edgestitch/topstitch in place you are doing it from the right side of the garment. The side that shows. This way your edgestitching looks neat and the wrong side doesn't show so it doesn't matter. HTH

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Belinda. Melbourne, Australia
http://sew-4-fun.blogspot.com/

Annette Wright
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Annette Wright
Kansas USA
Member since 10/22/08
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Date: 1/22/10 10:36 PM

I happen to enjoy handwork, so hand-basting isn't an issue. It really does make things like that easier too. Or gobs and gobs of pins.

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Annette
http://needlesnails.blogspot.com/

pinemeadows

pinemeadows
Intermediate
Texas USA
Member since 10/30/03
Posts: 149
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Date: 1/23/10 7:17 AM

I had this issue on a knit jacket last week. I did everything - from interfacing the band, pulling the fabric front and back as it stitched, different stitches, different presser foot pressure, using the walking foot, different needles, etc. Nothing worked.

What I finally ended up doing was putting the steam a seam down all along between the band and the part folded back. This unfortunately created a sort of ripple of its own - much to my frustration. Then I decided to edge stitch the band starting at the bottom and going up to the back neck center on each side. This seemed to "tighten up" the fabric so the ripple is pretty much gone....but not 100%....finally.

I spent days on this 2 hour jacket...well, the band, anyway. It isn't perfect, but it's much better. I'll never sew with a solid color knit like this again! I wish I could remember exactly what kind it is so I could warn you about it.

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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New York USA
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Date: 1/23/10 8:36 AM

The longer the band the more creep will build up as you sew. I like to use Design Plus's Ultra Soft Double sided fusible with a paper tape on one side. I find that it is really softer and less noticeable than the fuse a hem types.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

peachfuzz
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peachfuzz
Beginner
Colorado USA
Member since 8/21/09
Posts: 4
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Date: 1/25/10 1:25 PM

Thank you so much for your tips - I ended up using a million pins and fussing with the tension as I sewed to get the long front bands on my shirtdress right. Then I was able to pick up some fusible hem tape before I did the sleeve bands and used that there - it worked like a charm! This was my first "real" project, and I am so pleased that it turned out nicely. Thank you so much for your help!

One thing that I think improved the front bands was just going s-l-o-w-l-y - very light pressure on the pedal, stopping every few inches. Strange, but it almost seemed to give the upper fabric a chance to "catch up" when I went more slowly. I sew on a vintage Bernina Minimatic, and I don't think there's any way to truly adjust the foot tension - so this was really helpful.

Here's a picture of my new dress - close to perfect thanks to the tips on this board!


-- Edited on 1/25/10 1:27 PM --

mmmckay

mmmckay
Intermediate
Utah USA
Member since 7/24/08
Posts: 833
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Date: 1/25/10 1:53 PM

Your dress looks amazing - nice job!

Sometimes, when I think the machine sewing will be painfully slow or overly complicated to get it right, I just hand sew that part. Then I can sit on the sofa and watch TV, instead of hunching over my machine and cursing.

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