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Sewing seams from different directions

Susan_R | Posted in Teach Yourself To Sew on

Recently I ran across a reference to changing the direction in which you sew a seam — I’m assuming this means something like beginning a seam at the hem and sewing up the garment; then stopping midway and finishing the seam from the top.

What would be the reason for doing this? How would you know when to use this technique?



  1. Pattiann42 | | #1

    Sewing Seams From Different Directions.

    Pattern sewing instructions usually indicate in which direction the seam should be sewn.

    If you would stitch the way you have envisioned, you may end up with a bubble where two stitchings should join.

    For garment sewing, I believe this applies to double rows of topstitching and you would stitch the entire seam (not half a seam).  Perhaps this method was used before the double needle became available for home sewing (as opposed to commercial sewing).

    1. Susan_R | | #2

      Sewing Seams From Different Directions

      That's what I thought at first, too, spicegirl1, but the context made it clear that the technique achieved some end. I just don't know what.

      Thanks for responding, though!

  2. Morthan | | #3

    I suspect it's about what is called 'Directional Sewing' or more accurately 'Directional Stitching'.

    Useful for precision sewing and preventing distortion when stitching other than on the grain.

    It's a useful technique, described more often in old sewing books rather than more modern texts.

    The general idea is that  you stitch in the direction of the grain (whether tacking/basting, stay stitching and sewing seams).

    On curved edges, the general rule of thumb is to stitch from high to low.

    eg. on a neckline stitch from the left shoulder point (high) to the CF or CB *low, stop and then stitch from the right shoulder point (high) to the CF or CB (low)

    On straight edges that cross the grain, stitch from wide to narrow,.

    eg.  the side seams of an A line skirt are stitched from wide (hem) to narrow (waist) or narrow leg pants are stitched from wide (hips) to narrow (hem), or wide leg pants (wide) hem to waist (narrow).

    Stay stitching on a V neckline would be from Left shoulder to CF then Right shoulder to CF

    This video clip shows how to look at the cut edge to identify which direction the grain runs and therefor the direction to stitch.


    and as Marina mentions, pressing in the direction of the grain may also help to avoid distorition http://www.coutureschmiede.com/2012/06/directional-sewing-to-eliminate.html

    I hope this is of some help

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