The goal in making beautiful garments and other projects created with sewing machines and sewing machine accessories is to produce the most professional-looking, finished product. One of the techniques that can help any sewer do just that is understitching. Understitching is a finishing touch that can give any project sewn at home on a Janome HD3000, or any other sewing machine, the professional look sewers desire.

What Is Understitching?

Understitching is a way of concealing the excess fabric along the edge of a sewn seam so that it cannot curl up and become visible. When properly done, this row of stitching done along the underside of two pieces of seamed fabric, tucks in the edges and makes a sort of seam under the main seam to contain everything. Understitching is used around necklines, waistlines, and sleeve edges or any other area where the cut edges of the seamed fabric would be unsightly if they were to poke out.

It provides a professional, finished look to the seam and is a simple, useful technique that any person who uses sewing machines can learn to improve the look of their projects.

How to Understitch A Seam

Understitching is easily accomplished using any type of sewing machine, including the Janome HD3000; it does not need any sewing machine accessories other than a sharp pair of fabric shears. Understitch any seam using the following process:

  • Sew the Main Seam - With the main fabric over the lining or underside fabric, sew a standard seam leaving a standard seam allowance of about a quarter inch, or whatever is required for the project using a straight stitch.
  • Trim the Seam Allowance - Trim the seam allowance straight and grade the main fabric so that it is slightly shorter than the facing fabric. This will eliminate bulk in the seam so it lays flat when done.
  • Open and Press the Seam Allowance - Open up the fabric so the facing fabric lays flat on the table, opposite the main fabric. Then, press the seam allowance flat against the facing fabric so that it covers the facing fabric.
  • Sew the Understitching - Turn the fabric so it is right side up with the seam spread and the allowance still laid underneath the facing fabric. Sew a straight stitch just to the right of the facing fabric, sewing the allowance onto the the facing fabric. The end result should be the main seam hidden on the back of the main fabric and the under stitched seam visible on the facing fabric.
  • Fold the Facing Back - Once the understitching is complete, fold the facing fabric back so that only the main fabric is visible. With the seam allowance sewn in place, the allowance will not roll forward and make the facing fabric stick out. The seam should remain nice and flat, with only the main fabric showing. Press the seam on the right side of the fabric to complete the fold.

Although understitching is not necessary for all seams, it is very beneficial where it is done. Used appropriately, it is another one of those simple techniques done with sewing machines that can really improve the look of sewn projects. Easily done on a Janome HD3000, understitching is attractive and professional. Best of all, it is yet an additional technique that does not require any special sewing machine accessories and can be done by anyone!

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