Mini Tutorial: Sewing Seams With Ease Using Easestitching
When sewing seam with ease, you will find that if one of the edges is significantly longer than its corresponding short edge, pinning is not sufficient to machine stitch the seam smoothly with the excess distributed evenly along the seam. In this instance, you can use ease-stitching to facilitate the seam aligning and stitching process by compressing and molding the longer edge to fit within its corresponding shorter edge.
Ease-stitching is a simple machine basting stitch applied along the area that needs to be compressed, using either a single stitch application or a double stitch (parallel) application as shown above. The double machine basting stitches behave a lot like gathering but instead of pulling them to form gathering folds, ease-stitches are pulled just enough to compress the seam edge without forming any visible folds or puckers.
1. Apply two machine basting stitches within the seam allowance of the longer seam edge, at the area that needs to be eased- these will serve as your ease- stitching. Place the longer ease-stitched edge over the short one, matching and pinning the top and bottom edge as shown. In this position, the top layers will appear longer and not fit within shorter seam edge underneath.
2. To even out the excess in the longer seam thus align the two edges together perfectly, pull the loos threads of the two machine stitches simultaneously, distributing the excess as evenly as possible across the edge. Compress the longer edge in this manner until its length matches that of the shorter edge underneath.
3. It is extremely important that the easing is distributed evenly across the seam creating no visible folds or puckers. The easiest way to do this is to distribute the excess across the stitch with a pin until it appears a smooth and even as possible.
4. To secure the seam for machine stitching, pin it perpendicularly or hand baste the edges together for added stability.
5. Carefully stitch the seam next to the hand basting or the closest ease-stitch, keeping the two fabric edges as smooth as possible underneath. You should try your best to avoid accidental folds or puckering in the seam.
6. To release extra tension in the seam, iron the the final stitch in the direction it was applied.
7. To complete the eased seam, iron it with the seam allowance open ( or as specified in your project) over a tailor's ham. The three-dimensional curvature of the tailor's ham will mold to the organic nature of the eased seam to form an extra smooth, tension-free seam.