Fabric can behave in different ways depending on its makeup, how it is woven, and how it is cut. Some fabrics can stretch or end up distorted when using any type of sewing machine, including the Janome 2212. One way to prevent distortion when using bias cut fabric and ensure that seams are straight and unstretched is to use staystitching. This takes a few extra minutes to do; however, the effort will ensure that seams made on bias cut fabric are straight and not accidentally warped.
What Is Staystitching?
Staystitching is the technique of sewing the edges of single layers of fabric that have been cut on the bias. The purpose of this procedure is to retain the shape of the fabric as it naturally lays, preventing it from stretching or curving while it is being seamed. This is a common problem that occurs when creating seams on bias cut fabric, which often results in stretched, curved, or uneven seams that do not lay flat or look messy. By staystitching the individual layers ahead of time, seams can be done precisely on Janome machines, resulting in a professional looking seam.
Staystitching is an important technique whenever using bias cut fabric, which is notably more challenging to work with on sewing machines. This single row of normal length stitches set within the seam allowance is not visible after the actual seam has been stitched, which can be extremely important for the following reasons:
- Prevents Fabric Stretch - A major concern when sewing along the edge of a bias cut is stretching. While it is being stitched, bias cut fabric will frequently stretch as it passes under the needle. This can create a wavy, uneven seam, especially when one layer stretches differently than the other layer. The entire garment can be affected when a seam stretches like this, so preventing this is important.
- Prevents Curving and Distortion - Similarly, sewing along a bias cut increases the possibility that the end result will look curved to one side or distorted in some other way, even though it may seem like the fabric is being stitched straight while under the needle. Once again, a curved or distorted seam can negatively affect the whole project, so it must be prevented with staystitching before sewing the actual seam.
- Reinforces Corners and Points - Staystitching with a Janome 2212 is also useful for reinforcing corners and points to keep them from stretching and distorting. For example, when creating a crisp corner seam on a V-neck or a pocket, this is necessary to prevent warping or stretching that can occur while sewing down one angle of the corner, stretching and warping the actual corner angle.
Not all seams require the reinforcement of staystitching. Still, this technique is definitely recommended when creating a seam where fabric has been cut on the bias. By using this simple method, anyone stitching on a Janome 2212 can improve their results by staystitching along the edge of fabric pieces that will be seamed together before actually starting the seam itself. When this is done right after the fabric has been cut, staystitching ensures that pattern cuts are not accidentally stretched through handling and can sewn on Janome sewing machines!