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June 2010
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How To Keep Seams Straight

There are types of seams and many seam techniques that we’ll be covering in this series, however the main point today is how to keep those seams straight.  In some sewing it doesn’t matter if the seam line isn’t absolutely straight – a little “off” here and there isn’t going to be noticed, but for decorative stitching, several lines of stitching, etc it is mandatory that those seams are straight.

Here are a couple of pointers for you on how to keep those seams straight:


           Most sewing machines have seam guidelines etched onto the throat plate of the machine.  These etched lines are numbered to indicate eighths of an inch, extending to the right, and sometimes to the left of the needle.  The 5/8” marking would be the one used most often.  Some machines have a “cross line” etched in the throat plate, as shown above, which acts as a pivoting guide when making corners.


          A separate gauge can be attached to the machine, and is a substitute for the etched marks in the event that the original markings have worn off.  The separate gauge can also be useful in stitching curves and keeping the seam line straight.


          The E-Z Hem Guide has a peel-off back, which allows you to attach it to your sewing machine quickly and easily, making a permanent measuring guide.  The E-Z Hem Guide gives you a full 5 ¼” measuring guide, rather than the 5/8” that is normally on the sewing machine.  Use for adding trims, for crafts, making waist bands, measuring hems on dresses, skirts, pants, curtains; use as a guide for sewing facings.

            The E-Z Hem Guide fits all sewing machines and has complete instructions included.  The E-Z Hem Guide sells for $1.50 and can be ordered from  Email if you’d like immediate help with ordering through Pay Pal.

            These “how to” tutorials are an excerpt from our book “Basic Clothing Construction”.   This book is a handy addition to have in your sewing room, so you can refer to the various sewing tips and tutorials at any time

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author


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