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Paula Pattern – Day 4

May 20, 2008

Day 4 – Top-stitching

Day 1 – Pattern Preparation

Day 2 – Fabric Preparation & Cutting

Day 3 – Sewing of the Leg Pieces

Top-stitching is what makes any garment look neat and tidy.  It can also add another dimension to your project.  Here is where you can add a little pizazz by picking a great thread.  Decide what color of thread you want to accentuate these pants.  You can choose a color that blends right in and won’t be noticed, a color that stands out a little, or a color that totally stands out.  I decided to use white.  I was using white to sew the pants together.  I could have used orange, but I couldn’t find a shade that I liked.  I could have gone with a blue to match.  I could have done a combination of blue and orange.  You can choose whatever color just says use me on these pants.  You could even add a little spunk and use a different color for every piece that you top-stitch the choice is yours.

Once you have picked a thread, load it into your machine.  We’ll be using our regular sewing machines for this part of the process.  Set your machine to your regular straight stitch.  Now, you’ll need to take each leg piece and press it flat with an iron.  I chose to press my seams toward the rear.  Remember, make sure that you press both sides and don’t skip this step.  Your pieces will not lay flat enough if you do not.  Here’s shots of my pressed pieces:


You can see all my serged seams are pointing in the same direction.  Now, take your leg pieces back to the sewing machine. You are going to start on one side of the piece, right side of the fabric up.  You are going to run a stitches the length of the seam…just slightly to the side.  You want to catch the serged flap in the back.  This will make it lay flatly when the pants are complete.  It is also a huge help in saving time after the pants are done.  Ironing them will be much easier.

 This is what your fabric will look like when you place it under the foot on your machine. 

You will follow your seam, catching the serged flap on the back.  You will probably stitch at about 1/8 of an inch from the seam.

Try to keep your stitching straight as you run down the fabric.  Don’t worry if it strays slightly, I don’t think I’ve ever made a perfectly straight stitch in my life.  The problem arises if you start swerving great amounts and lose the flap on the back.  We are trying to stitch it down.

When you get to the flares on the bottom, it is a little tricky. You will need to pull them apart slightly as you continue sewing.  Remember, keep following the seam.  Don’t pull your fabric too much either, just gently open it up. 



Here’s what that will look like:

You will continue this pattern for each seam on each pants leg.  When you are done, all your seams should lay a great deal more flat.  The pieces will look so much better. Here, are my leg pieces after being top-stitched.

Work hard to get that topstitching done!  We’ll work on hemming these legs next.  The pants are about halfway complete.

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