"Topstitching is Tops"
By Sarah J. Doyle
For style and an elegant touch of professionalism in sewing
your garment, topstitching is tops! You can add this detail
along a finished edge or along a seam by machine or by hand.
The choices for topstitching are numerous - placement on the
garment, number of rows to make, type of thread to use and
the size of the needle are all to be considered.
Topstitching thread is normally identified on the spool, or
you can purchase buttonhole twist. There are many types of
thread that can be used for topstitching - cotton, nylon, silk,
and must be selected according to the type of fabric that will
have the topstitching detail.
Use a good, smooth ballpoint needle, preferably a size 18.
Size 16 or smaller will suffice for many fabrics. The larger
needle requirement is merely to allow the threads to pass
through the needle easily.
The use of a stitching-tape enables easy placement of even
rows. The tape can be separated at the desired width and
adhered to the fabric in perfect position. Stitch alongside
of the edge.
Ordinarily, topstitching is done on the top or right side, just
as the word implies; however it can be worked from the wrong
side with any special thread on the bobbin.
No advice can substitute for actually perfecting your
technique on some sample swatches. Make some duplicates of the
thickness of the actual fabric, lining and interlining of the
garment that you'll be topstitching, then test the threads and
design of the topstitching in order to make sure the tension
will be right and you'll have a professional looking design.
Your machine manual may have some special suggestions. If your
machine is built to accommodate a double or triple needle,
you'll be able to follow the directions within the manual in
order to get the tension right for the topstitching.
About the author:
Sarah J. Doyle is author of over 25 sewing, craft and how-to
books, as well as author of online pattern making, sewing and
craft classes. Visit http://SewWithSarah.com
on books, classes, newsletters and the latest hints and tips,
for pattern making and pattern
changing classes, and http://SarahJDoyle.com
for her sewing blog