Monday, 7 July 2014

Tutorial: How to Catch Stitch (On the Ava jacket)

 The 'Ava' jacket calls for quite a bit of Catch stitching throughout the construction process. Catch stitching is a hand stitch that looks like a series of X's on the wrong side of the fabric and parallel dashes on the right side. 

Take a seat and read about how to make Catch stitching your new friend.

It is an elastic stitch that keeps two layers flat against each other.  This makes it perfect for using on edges that curve around the body, like collars and cuffs. Or for edges that need to be flexible to give good movement, like skirt hems. The stitch is almost invisible on the right side of the fabric due to the small number of threads "caught" by the needle. Other uses for catch stitching are to tack down pleats, hold down arm and neck facings, or a pretty stitch to attach labels.

Sounds great right?  So let's break down the steps on how to do this particular hand stitch.

Prep - The top piece of fabric that is being catch stitched needs to have the seam allowance pressed under. A quick way to do this is to use your machine to run a line of basting 5/8" away from the cut edge.  Use the basting line as a folding guide when pressing down the seam allowance.  After the fabric has been pressed, remove the basting stitches. Now your fabric is ready to catch stitch.

Step 1 - Pin the two fabrics together. The top layer will be the fabric with the pressed under seam allowance.  Aligned the folded edge of the top layer with the seam line of the lower layer. Catch stitching is worked left to right, so start your thread accordingly.

Step 2 - With the needle pointing towards the left, pick up a few threads on the bottom layer of fabric, right above the edge of the top layer of fabric.

Step 3 - Pull the thread through so that it is taunt, but the fabric remains flat.

Step 4 - Move the needle diagonally further down from the fabric edge.  With the needle still pointed to the left pick up a few threads, this time going through both layers of fabric.

Step 5 - Again pull the thread taunt, but not too tight.

Step 6 - Continue repeating steps 2 and 4, trying to keep the stitches evenly spaced along the edge of the fabric. Tie off the thread when you reach the end of your seam.

Happy sewing Heather.


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