Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to Understitch

Chelsea here from GYCT Designs.  Today I wanted to share with your little bit about Understitching.  Many sewers know about topstitching which helps finish off a seam and keeps it in place.  However, for many types of fabrics and projects, understitching is a better and more professional finish.  If you are sewing with satins or silks, often understitch keeps the neckline from rolling and keeps it nice and flat.  Understitch is also only visible on the lining or facing fabric instead of on the front of the garment, which is preferable on many sheer or fine fabrics.

So let's get right to it.

Step 1
Start by sewing your lining or facing to your main fabric with right sides together.  Mine pictured below is a bodice front and back.  Stitch around the neckline at the appropriate seam allowance.  Press.

Step 2
If you are on a curved edge, clip around the curve every 1-2 inches.  This will help the curve to lay nice and flat and gives a little ease.

Step 3
Turn you fabric right side out.  Press along the seam so it is nice and flat.

Step 4
Carefully lift your main fabric out of the way.  You'll see that I pulled my fabric towards the neckline.  Press your seam allowance towards your lining.  Stitch your seam allowance to your lining.  This is the "understitch".  This keeps the seam allowance in place and helps the seam to lay nice and flat.  But it also doesn't show the seam on the outside of the garment.  

Turn your garment right side out and press.  You can see below the stitching that is along the top edge of the lining.  That is the understitching.  You can see it on the lining, but flip your garment over.

Notice, no stitching on the outside of the garment neckline.  It does the same thing that topstitching does, meaning it keeps the seam allowance in place, but it doesn't show through.  

No go find something to understitch.  Happy Sewing!!

Image Map


  1. Nice! I can see that being a great technical detail for garments when you don't want top stitching!
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great tutorial! Although I can see that it makes sense to understitch, I however, never do. I love topstitching too much lol

  3. Topstitching is nice, but the understitching gives it such a professional finish. I like doing both. It just depends on what I am sewing. Excellent tutorial. Thanks for sharing

  4. Wonderful tutorial! I never understitch, but you've convinced me to start! :) Lisa


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