How to Understitch?

November 13, 2013 in Tips & Tricks

So, you’ve gotten to the part in the pattern where it says to understitch. What is understitching? Glad you asked! Understitching is when you sew the lining only to the seam allowance. It’s typically at the neckline and armholes, but, not limited to that. It’s essential purpose is to keep the lining rolled back behind the outer fabric so that it doesn’t show. Scroll down for the tutorial!

Here are 2 examples of understitching:

The understitch on the inside of a bridal gown. It shows on the inside, but not the outside. Here, the understitching line is sewn very close to the seam.

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Here is the inside of a bridesmaid dress and it actually has 2 rows of understitching.

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

First, you’ll sew your seam according to your pattern directions (as to what seam allowance to use; typically garment patterns have you sew a 5/8″ seam allowance).

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Here is your seam…

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

I like to trim my seam allowance, especially if a curve is involved, down to 1/4″ or 3/8″

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Make sure your seam allowance (underneath) is laying towards your lining (otherwise, the purpose will be defeated)! You will be stitching on your lining through the seam allowance (which is lying underneath). There, I said it twice so that you make sure your seam allowance (underneath) is laying towards your lining where you will be stitching. :D I like to line my seam up with the inside of my foot with my needle in the center (2.5mm or 3mm stitch length). You’ll want to be sewing about an 1/8″ to 1/4″ over from your seam. As you sew, gently pull the 2 sides outward so that the lining/understitching lays pretty flat. Take your time around curves and make sure nothing is bunching or warping. It can get kind of funny and tight around curves. Again, just take your time, gently pulling the 2 fabrics away from your seam.

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Understitching…

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Understitched!

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

Press to finish!

Totally Stitchin': How to Understitch

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