Sunday, 15 August 2010

Skill Bites – Stay Stitching

This is the start of the new section ‘Skill Bites’ in the Simplicity Dress 3833 Series, where I shall explain sewing terms used in this pattern. If you have missed any of the series please visit the Introduction page.

What is Stay stitching?

When I first started to read pattern instructions it took me a while to figure out what this sewing term actually meant. In basic it is a stitch done on a single piece of fabric which prevents the fabric stretching while sewing and handling. For a more detailed definition of the term Stay Stitching visit


When it comes to explaining techniques I always find videos are the best way to go. On YouTube I came across Krissajojo’s video where she explains very clearly what stay stitching is.
Sometimes watching videos may be difficult when you are sewing if you need to keep referring to the information. I keep my pc in the bedroom and my sewing room is downstairs, which means I do a lot of running about in the house. In this instance I find a PDF reference sheet is ideal to keep near my sewing machine to refer to, on Sewing.Org they have a great selection to download.

Using Stay Stitching

For the Simplicity dress 3833 I needed to use stay stitching anywhere that the fabric may stretch. In the following example I will show how I used stay stitching on the skirt piece.

*Please note the measurement should be ½ inch distance from the top, not ¼ inch as shown in the picture.

Measure ½ inch from the upper edge of the skirt piece and mark.

Set the machine to a standard straight stitch and stitch along the marks.

This is how stay stitching will look on the fabric piece.

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