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Sewing basics: Sewing side seams that don’t “pull” up at the hem.

malsews | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’ve been sewing all  my life, but I still have one little problem and I can’t seem to find any information on it.  Whenever I sew a dress or skirt, the side seams seem to pull up at the hem and/or pucker a bit.  I thought at first it was the needle I was using, and then the fact that when I pressed my seams open I was pulling on the fabric and I may have pulled it off grain.  I also make sure I sew the seam from the hem to the waistline, but then when I deconstructed skirts and dresses I noticed that one seam is sewin in that direction and the other side is sewn in the opposite direction.  I also checked to see the way I hemmed the garment, thinking I was drawing up the hem slightly where the side seams meet; the thickness of the fabric at the seam, and/or the fact I may have sewn the stitches too tight at that point.  Can anyone help me?  I would appreciate it!  Thanks!


  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Sewing Basics

    Unless you are making a scarf, no garment is 100% on grain.  On grain down the center is about it.

    Try reducing the presser foot pressure if this feature is on your sewing machine.

    Or, a walking foot will help keep the top layer feeding insync with the bottom layer that is being moved by the feed dogs.

    1. User avater
      malsews | | #2

      Sewing Basics: Sewing Side Seams that don't pull up at the hem.

      Ok, thanks.  I'll try the walking foot as I can't adjust the pressure of the presser foot.  I also read something today in the Threads Vol. 2 designer mag that after 36 inches, the french-sewn side seam won't hang right. 

  2. bunnypep | | #3

    I would reduce the tension a bit. Also, when winding your bobbin, the poly threads can stretch when the bobbin is wound at high speed. Once sewn, they seek their origianl length and pucker the seam. Loosen up on the foot pedal when bobbin winding. Keep it consistent and don't go too slow. 

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