This week in our Facebook Sewing Group I was asked, and I'm paraphrasing here, how do you top stitch a hood without it being a wavy piece of shit (okay, I added the last part but we're all thinking it sooo).
So here are my 5 Top F*cking Tips to top-stitch that f*cker all while avoiding the wave which is great for a sporting event but not sewing...unless you're doing a lettuce hem ANYWAY back on topic.
1. Press, press, press!
Press the edges where you'll be top stitching BEFORE AND AFTER sewing!
I hate ironing...ahem, I mean pressing, too but you really just got to do it.
You don't have to use this ham. I'm using it here because the white you see under it is actually a poster board. Yes, that's right, I'm hiding my ugly ironing board. If you're in Rain City's Sewing Group you may have seen how ugly this thing is during one of my Live videos. For the sake of your eyes I've concealed it. You're welcome.
2. Use a looooooong stitch!
Usually when you turn your sewing machine on the stitch length is pretty short, like 2.5 or something completely unusable when you're talking top stitching. So bump that b*tch up to like a 4.
Pictured here you'll see the left stitch is short, and the right stitch is right...I mean long uh, but also right.
Okay and let's talk about this too. I know someone out there is saying "But Blair you shouldn't use a straight stitch cus it's gotta be able to stretch!"
But, does it tho? What's it stretching around? It's not a neckband. And really the opening for the face of the hood is huge, like it's not going to need to stretch.
3. Position your foot right to the edge of your fabric and move your needle as far away from that edge as possible!
Every time I see a wavy top stitch on a hood the top stitching is done like 1/8" away from the edge of the fabric.
This is kinda problematic for a couple reasons.
One reason is everyone knows that sewing machines are hungry b*tches and will in fact eat everything it has the opportunity to eat. Let's not give it that opportunity.
The second reason comes with lined hoods. If your hood is lined that edge is a seam and its probably thick and a pain in the *ss. So let's just make life easy and move the f*ck away from it. Okay? Cool beans.
4. Hold your tails when you start sewing!
And don't bother back stitching. This part of your hood will be sewn to the neckline so it's not really necessary to back stitch here.
Also, you should actually always hold your tails when you start sewing because it helps prevent nesting. No one likes nesting.
5. Get a walking foot if you don't have IDT.
A walking foot is a game changer. A lot of wavy problems come from the fabric being stretched while sewing. A walking foot helps move the fabric evenly and because of that it helps prevent the fabric stretching.
You don't see a walking foot on my machine because I'm using a Pfaff and it has IDT. IDT stands for Integrated Dual Feed. It's amazing and if you ever see one of these machines on Craigslist it's a must have. GAME CHANGER!
So there you have it. Those are my top 5 tips to avoid a wavy top stitch on a hood. Give it a try! I mean, what's the worst that can happen, a wavy top stitch? You've already got that problem but at least with this way you're not spending years of your life tearing a million short stitches out. 😂
Check out my favorite hoodie patterns!