When creating professional looking garments on sewing machines, it is often the little details that can make the biggest differences. Such is the case with directional sewing or stitching. Although it may seem that all anyone needs to do to create great seams on their Juki HZL DX5 is to keep the stitching straight, the direction in which the seams are actually sewn also matters.
What Is Directional Stitching?
Directional stitching is going in the same direction so that opposite seams on a garment both come out the same length. To achieve this result, seams should be sewn on Juki sewing machines following the fabric grain and the angle of a cut to reduce the chance of stretching or puckering.
The Importance of Directional Stitching
Whenever creating matching seams on any garment, such as the side seams on a blouse or skirt, it is important to stitch both in the same direction to avoid unevenness. Sewing with Juki sewing machines from the waist to the hem on one side of a skirt, and then from the hem to the waist on the other side may result in one side looking longer than the other. This effect, caused by an uneven stretch during stitching, can cause the entire garment to look lopsided.
To avoid this effect, both seams should be done on a sewing machine by going in the same direction and from the widest point to the smallest. That means moving from hem to waist on both sides of a skirt, from the hem to the armholes on a shirt, or from the waist to the hems on a pair of pants.
Directional stitching can also be done with Juki sewing machines around necklines to prevent unevenness. This means the garment is sewn from the highest point at the top of the neck to the center of the neck, once from each side of the neckline. This two-part technique has stitches joining in the center, keeping both parts of the neckline even.
Staystitching is frequently suggested to prevent bias cut fabric from stretching or distorting before, or while it is being sewn on a sewing machine like the Juki HZL DX5. Any staystitching done along necklines, armholes, or on other curved pieces of bias cut fabric should also be sewn directionally to further prevent any uneven stretching or warping of the fabric. By sewing curved fabrics directionally using the method described above for necklines, the shape of the curve will be properly maintained and opposite curves, such as armholes, will match each other without the risk of one side turning out differently than the other.
It can be extremely frustrating when garments created on sewing machines begin to look warped or off balance. Not only does this problem often mean extra time spent ripping seams out to try again; it can also leave some sewers wondering where they went wrong. With directional stitching and directional staystitching, those using fully featured Juki sewing machines can avoid this problem and always end up with even, balanced seams. Directional stitching with the Juki HZL DX5 is another one of those little details that can really make a difference when trying to capture the look of a professionally made garment!