8 Top Stitching Tips + Tricks

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Happy Tuesday! Today I'm going to share my tips and tricks for achieving beautiful looking top stitching.

This was originally posted as part of the Workshop Tote Sew Along. Want to make a tote too?
Find all the posts here: Workshop Tote Sew Along
Pick up a copy of the pattern here: Workshop Tote Pattern
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Half-Square Triangle Workshop Tote made using Terrestrial and Bird's Eye View collections by Sarah Watson.

1. Press Well

As always, good preparation goes a long way. Taking the time to press your piece before top stitching will ensure that everything lays nice and flat. This sets you up for nice looking stitching.

2. Use a Sharp New Needle

If it's been a while since you changed your machine's needle, now's the time! I typically use 90/14 size needles for bag projects.

3. Up the Stitch Length

I typically set my stitch length to 3.0 when I top stitch.

4. Use a Light Colored Thread

I get the neatest looking top stitching when I use a light colored thread on both dark and light colored fabrics. The hole where the needle goes through the fabric gives the stitching extra definition, resulting in neater top stitching.

5. Slow Down

Take your time! It can be easy to get into a groove and veer off course. 

6. Hide Back Stitching

If possible, I like to find a spot in the fabric to hide my back stitching. On this tote I was able to hide it in this wide flower that was near one of the sides. If I can't find a good spot, I'll skip back stitching, pull the threads through to the lining and knot the ends.

7. Use Your Presser Foot as a Guide

I recommend using the side of your presser foot to line up your top stitching if you can. I love using this little narrow stitching foot when I top stitch. If you can move your needle, move it to the right so that you can use that side of your foot to line up your piece and get a nice 1/8" seam.

8. Tuck as You Go

It can be hard to get your lining to stay tucked in as you top stitch around the top of your bag. I like to press it in place as best as I can, but I also tuck it as I stitch. I pinch the top edge, pushing the lining further inside the bag as I stitch to get a nice top edge.

Happy Sewing!

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the tips. I like the tuck and roll especially !


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