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slipstitching is making costume look bad

surya | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I’m making a jedi costume for a star wars crazed friend of mine.Simplicity 4450. I’m constructing the tunic and so far has gone fine, (except there was quite a bit of ease along the center front and neck edge compared to the length of the facing/band). Well, my problem is slipstitching the band on to the tunic. One side is machine stitched and the part you fold over to the inside gets slipstitched and I guess I’ve never had to slipstitch such a long distance before, but it is like the slipstitching is really making it look bad. especially up by the shoulders and neck. It’s a little wavy here, a little puckery there.
It improved when I took out the hand slipstitch and tried again being very careful not to pull the stitches tight, but I’m still not happy with the look. Even being careful to just pick up one thread, you can still see the little dots. Is there an alternative to to being so painstaking. Can I use the machine in some way and stitch in the ditch to get a nicer result? Or am I stuck handstitching. I was going a 1/4″ apart with the stitches. Should I make them smaller? Or again, is there a way to get a good result on the machine? It looks so good until I try to put that slipstitching in.



  1. suesew | | #1

    If I'm understanding you correctly, you have machine stitched a band to the right side and folded it over the raw edge and are slip stitching it on the back side. I don''t know why any stitch you take would go through to the front if you keep your stitching within the seam allowance. I also don't know why you couldn't pin it all carefully in place and topstitch or stitch in the ditch as you suggested. It is a costume after all - don't obcess about it.

  2. SewFit | | #2

    The pattern is apparently out of print so I can't check it out on the website. Did you cut the band on the bias?   How wide is the band?   You may have to stitch from the center back neck down first one side and then the other to make it ease correctly.

  3. zuwena | | #3

    It sounds to me like you need to ease the band (the longer piece) to the neckline (the shorter piece). If so, start by matching up the mid points and then the end points and ease the remaining material in between by pinning in 1/2" sections --holding the longer band on top of the shorter neckline draped over your finger. I also think that shorter stitches (probably every 1/8") would help and I would place the stitches right along (or just below)the machine stitched line attaching the band. If you slipstitch from underneath the top layer the fold will hide any stitches. Hope this helps. Z.

    1. surya | | #4

      Thanks everyone for all the advice. I learned a lot from this experience.
      First, I learned that slipstitching should not be drawn up tight like the ladder stitch used for closing openings.
      Also, I learned that is important to take smaller bites, Like an eighth of an inch instead of a quarter when going through curves or parts where there is a little ease.
      Also, Normally my slipstitching falls right on the seamline, but this time when I folded the facing band to the inside for slipstitching, it overlapped the seamline by at least an eighth of an inch in some spots, and so stitching right into the fold of the facing was causing puckers and waves. So it really improved when I stitched just under the fold. under the fold some so the facing was not being pulled on so much and it layed flat. The guy who cut out the pieces was not that accurate, and I know my seam wasn't all that straight either.
      Lastly, I learned there can be a great deal of ease in some garments along the front edges and along the neck line it is the opposite. Next time I'll proof read the pattern better and lengthen the facing band some so it is not such a ridiculous amount to try and even out. I'm sure it is important they put some ease in there but sometimes it seams these pattern drafters go overboard! There was a huge amount in this piece and I was amazed I fit it all in. But I know this also lead to trouble when it came time to slipstitch the band on.
      All this must be so obvious to some, but a real education to me!

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