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What Is A Stay Stitch

As a seamstress, you want every garment you make to be perfect. You want your end product to fit the measurements provided and the vision of your clients. A stay stitch is one of the steps you must take to make this happen. Without it, your garments will be out of proportion and your clients will not be as happy as expected.

As a seamstress, you should know how to read a garment pattern appropriately. This will help you to identify the right position to stitch your stay. This ensures that you have sufficient seam allowances and that your end product will be similar to the pattern.

The direction of your sewing when making stay stitches should be according to the grain. If you sew in the wrong direction, you are likely to destroy your garment. Stay stitches are sewn downwards. At the point of the curve, all you need is to stop and start from the other direction keeping with the grain of the fabric

What Is A Stay Stitch?

A stay stitch is a stitch made on a single layer of a garment. It is made around the parts of the garment that curve. It ensures that the curves maintain their shape and original cut measurements.

Which ensures a proper fit when the garments are eventually completed and worn. It also helps the seamstress maintain proper measurements as you sew the garment.

Stay stitching is commonly done around necklines, arms, and other curves in a garment. It should be done immediately after you have cut your fabric into the desired shape. Skipping this stitch may distort the shape of your fabric.

When you align your garment pattern to the grainline of the fabric, you need to make sure that it holds. Stay stitching is how you do this. If you don’t stay stitch at the right time, you may stretch the fabric while handling it in other ways. This is likely to cause stretching in the parts that would benefit from a stay stitch.

When sewing with fabrics such as cotton or other stretch fabrics, stay stitching is a must. It prevents your fabric from stretching before you have made a garment out of it.

Stay stitches are not visible after you have finished assembling the garment you are making. This is because you make them below the seam line. As a result, they will remain in the garment ensuring that it stays according to its original pattern. They also help to keep your garments in good shape. When they wear from washing and prolonged use, you will find that your garment starts sagging in the areas where they stay stitches were made.

Stay stitches since they are made with smaller stitches that don’t wear out quickly. In addition to providing shape, they also help enhance the durability of the garment that you make.

How Do You Sew Stay Stitch?

Step 1. Cut your fabric for the type of garment that you want to make. If you are doing it for practice, you can get measurements of sewing websites and magazines. If you are doing it for a client, make sure to follow the measurements as you made them with your client.

Stay stitching should be done immediately after you have cut the fabric. If you do it later, you may have stretched or shrunk parts of the fabric.

Step 2. Thread your sewing machine. Make sure the thread you are using for the stay stitch is the same color as your fabric. For a stay stitch, your stitches are smaller than normal. Set your sewing machine to 1.5mm stitches and use a straight stitch to make it. Smaller stitches are stronger and will hold your fabric shape firmly as you start to sew it.

Step 3. When making the stay stitch, you rely strongly on the measurements provided for in the pattern. Constantly refer to the pattern to make sure that you leave sufficient space for the seam allowance in all areas of the garment that you will sew with a stay stitch. Unless you have different requirements, sew your stay stitch at least ? inches from the seam allowance.

Step 4. Bring your garment layer to the sewing machine to sew your stay stitch. When sewing, consider the direction of your stitches. Make sure to stitch from the outer areas into the center.

For example, if you are making your stay stitch at the neckline curve, start sewing from the shoulders downwards towards the neckline curve. While at the center, start from the other shoulder and sew until stitches from both sides meet at the center.

This ensures that the stitching stays equal on both sides of the garment. Sewing from one side to the other increases the chances of your fabric wrinkling even before the garment you are sewing is worn.

Step 5. Remember to sew stay stitches on the garment facings at the same time. If you don’t, you may find that the parts of your garments don’t align. Sew the facings just as you have done the other part of the garment. Make sure that the neckline and armholes are sewn from both directions.

Step 6. Where do you place your stay stitches? Depending on the garment you are making, you can make your stay stitches on the neckline, shoulders, armholes, sides, and waistline. When you are sewing stay stitches on the different parts of the garment, make sure you sew them in a downward direction to take care not to go against the bias of the fabric.

Step 7. Once you have sewn the stay stitch all around the single layers of the garment you are making, go ahead and finish making it. Once you have finished making your garment, you don’t remove the stay stitches. They are a permanent feature of your garment.

The stay stitches keep your garment in shape. Another reason why you can’t remove the stitches is that you may have already sewn over them. They are an integral part of sewing and have their prominent place.

Why Is It Necessary To Stay Stitch A Skirt’s Waistline?

When sewing a skirt, you need to make sure that you align the sides of the skirt accordingly to the grainlines of the fabric. This ensures that you have a shapely skirt and that follows the fabric appropriately. A misaligned skirt is likely to wear out quickly and may give you lots of problems as you are working on it.

If you are making the skirt for a client, the waistline is an important part of the skirt. If you make it too big or too small, the skirt will not fit your client. You will end up having to repeat the process to make the waist fit the owner. You must, therefore, follow all the measurements as they are in the pattern.

A stay stitch is made immediately after you have cut the fabric for your garment. If you don’t do it immediately, it may lead to stretching which will damage the final look of the skirt. It is done mostly on the parts of the garment that curve.

On a skirt, you need to make stay stitches at the waist. This ensures that the waist stays in position as is required. Stay stitches ensure that you don’t waste fabric trying to repair a stretched-out waistline on the skirt you are making.

They also ensure that you can sew the skirt proportionately according to your client’s needs.

Why Should You Consider Direction When Sewing?

Directional stitching is an important skill every seamstress needs to know. It is especially important when you are working on a stay stitch. A stitch you should not miss when making a garment from scratch and following a pattern.

Directional stitching is when you sew in a particular direction on your fabric. Preferably, the direction you are sewing in is aligned to the grain of the fabric. Directional stitching is important in every sewing project. When you sew along the grain of the fabric, it ensures that the garment you are making maintains its shape until the end.

When you use directional stitching for your stay stitches, it maintains the fabric’s shape and also helps keep bias-cut parts of the garment you are working on from stretching unnecessarily before you finish sewing.

You need to consider the direction you sew in especially when you work on angled and curved garments. If your garment slants diagonally, your sewing direction is from the widest to the narrowest point. For curves such as necklines, your sewing direction is from top to bottom towards the middle. At the middle, start on the side towards the middle.

In directional sewing, you consider the grain of the fabric. If you sew against it, you will find that your fabric puckers and wrinkles as you sew. It will also cause the fabric to get distorted and torn. Damaging the fabric and eventually the garment you are making.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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