Friday, November 6, 2020

Hi everybody,

I promised you part 2 of transitioning from a flat-fell seam to a side vent.  If you didn't see my last blog from Monday, you might want to go back and look at it, so you see the entire process.

I made a second sample using exactly the same configuration as the first--5/8" wide side vents, etc.  I serged both the front and back seam allowances as on sample 1. Once again, I clipped straight into the side seam allowances to the side seam stitching, making those clips 1/2" above the side vent dot. I trimmed the back seam allowance to 1/8".  I folded the front seam allowance onto itself at 1/4", then pressed it over the trimmed back seam allowance, fusing it with Steam-a-Seam.  I also fused the tops of the side vent allowances after folding the top edges at 45 degrees.  All this is shown in the previous blog, along with photos of stitching the miters at the vent/hem corner and the topstitching I wasn't especially happy with.

I simplified the stitching on this second sample, and I like it much better.  After following the steps used on the first sample, I decided to edgestitch only on the side of the seam where I had folded over the front seam allowance.  I did not stitch right at the original stitching of the seam, as I did on sample 1.  Here's the result.

The photo above shows the edgestitching along the folded and fused front seam allowance, which has been folded over onto the back.  I've also stitched the side vent in place, although it's hard to see that stitching.

What I haven't shown you before is that I left long thread tails on my edgestitching along the seam.  I tied a knot at the end of the edgestitching, then used a handstitching needle to hide the thread tails in the side vent. I left the ends so you could see what I did, but they will get cut off to finish.  

Here's the right side of the sample.

So much simple, clearer, and less fussy than my first sample.  I like it much better.

Many of our patterns use a 1-1/4" wide side vent.  I thought I'd try that.  To begin, I serged down the seam allowances, across the diagonal top of the side vent, and down its vertical edges.  

Once I did the first steps, I realized that even though I had serged diagonal edges at the top of the side vents, I still had 5/8" raw edges where I had clipped into the seam allowances.  

So once I had the front seam allowances folded and fused to the back, I realized I would need to fold the diagonal tops of the side vent.

You can see the raw edge resulting from clipping into the seam allowances.  You're looking at the back side vent folded over to the front, so you can see what I'm doing.  Also, you can see the dot where the seam edgestitching needs to end so it meets the diagonal stitching I'll do on the diagonal vent edge.


This is so much explanation.  It's difficult to convey the tiny details in words, but the photos really show the process, so I hope they are clear to you.  

Here's a view of the lines I drew to indicate where I should fold.  One edge is already folded.

 Both diagonal edges folded.


Edgestitching is done along the flat-fell seam.  Once the diagonal edges were fused, I could stick a pin through to mark where that seam edgestitching should end.  I left long thread tails.  If you're worried about that little bit of raw edge at the bottom of the seam, you can secure it with a drop of Fray-Check.

Here it is from the right side.

As I said, my explanation sounds much more complicated than the process actually is.  Look at the photos and make a couple of samples.  You'll quickly see how to make a smooth, neat transition from a flat fell seam to a side vent.

Be sure to go back to my previous blog to get a head start!  



Monday, November 2, 2020

 Hello everyone,

Recently a sewer asked me about transitioning from a flat-fell seam to a side vent.  She was making a shirt from our pattern called A Subtle Twist (by the way, it is now discontinued, but this blog will apply to other shirts as well).  

I was not particularly pleased with all aspects of my first experiment with solving the problem, but I'm going to show it to you so you can see the process--and what I didn't really like.  Then in my next blog I'll show you what I like better.  So let's get to it.

A Subtle Twist includes 5/8" wide side vents.  Here's a photo of the wrong side of the Front showing you the dot where the side seam ends at the top of the side vent, the miters at the hem corners (we draft those for you), and the hem.  You can see that I've already serged the side seam and hem edges.

Here you can see that I've created the back piece of the sample, serged it, and stitched it to the front piece, stitching the side seam to the dot.  I've pressed the seam allowances open, continuing to press the remaining portions of the seam at 5/8" down to the corner miters, forming the vent.  Finally, I trimmed the back seam allowance to 1/8" down to a point 1/2" above the dot.  It's important not to trim all the way down to the dot! At the bottom of the trimmed back seam allowance, be sure you've clipped all the way to the side seam stitching.  (I had to do it later!)

Next, I used our 1/4" Pressing Template to press the front part of the side seam allowance.  Again, I had to clip all the way to the side seam stitching before pressing.  You can see how this would create a weak spot if you did this at the dot.
Next, I pressed the folded front seam allowance over the back seam allowance.  (By the way, having the serging tames that raw edge and makes it easier to press.)  I slid a strip of Steam-a-Seam under that folded seam allowance.  Get it all the way under, press lightly, and peel off the paper backing.  (I didn't want to slide mine all the way under yet--you wouldn't have been able to see it!)  I pressed again to fuse.

Note that in the photo above, I have 2 raw edges at the top of the side vent (just above the dot).  
Here's the front seam allowance fused in place.  Also, I've turned down those 2 little raw edges to make a prettier finish.  Slide little bits of Steam-a-Seam under just those angled edges and fuse them also.

Now you're ready to stitch the miters.  These will be uneven miters, because the side vent is 5/8" wide, but the hem is 1-1/4" wide.  The thing to note is that the diagonal seam allowance for the miters is 3/8" (shown in the first photo), so the serged edges must cross at 3/8".  It's simple if you can see a photo--.  The top pin is at 3/8".  Stitch from that top pin to the corner--we always place a dot at that corner to help you.

Once you've stitched, you'll trim the corner of the miter diagonally and press its short seam allowances open over a point press.  Turn them right side out.

So this is where I started wondering just how I wanted to proceed.  I tried what we often do with flat fell seams.  I used my edgestitching foot and stitched (working from the wrong side), down both sides of the seam and across the bottom, right where the trimmed seam allowances end.  Then I stitched across the hem, up one side of the vent till I was even with the dot, pivoted and stitched up the angle at the top of the vent, and the same on the other side of the vent.  

I thought I had done ok, till I looked at the right side.  I thought it looked way too fussy.  It's hard to match up all the lines of stitching, and I think the look is overly complicated.

I decided to try again, cleaning up the final appearance.  I liked those results better, so I'll show you those in the next blog.  
I wanted to go though all these steps with you, though, so you could see the whole process and perhaps learn from my not so lovely first attempt at figuring out how to topstitch this configuration.
See you next time!