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Sewing long strips

Sewing long strips

Old 01-17-2016, 02:17 PM
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Default Sewing long strips

It seems that whenever I sew long strips together for a project, they never lay flat. They get all wavy. I cut them carefully on the grain of fabric, so I don't think it's a bias problem. I'm thinking of doing a pattern that uses strips, but I need to solve this problem first.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:26 PM
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If they don't lay flat, this means there's a bow which means you are
not sewing straight. Put a long piece of masking tape on your sewing
machine from your needle down. This will be your guide when sewing
those strips. Starching your fabric before cutting would also help.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:49 PM
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Alternate your seams. Sew the first one top to bottom, then then next one bottom to top. Press after each seam, don't wait until the end. If you have an ironing surface with a grid, this will help you press. In addition to a strip being cut with a slight bow, or a wavering seam, the tension on the strips may be uneven causing it to not lay straight. In other words, either the strip on top or on the bottom is pulling thru the machine at a slower rate than the other one. Try using a walking foot or lightening up your presser foot pressure just a bit & make sure you are not holding on to one of the strips as you feed it thru your machine.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:53 PM
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I've found this helps me and many of my students.

Jan in VA
Attached Thumbnails pressing-seam-open.png  
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:24 PM
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Jan, that's a great tip. Thanks for sharing.

Pennyhal, I do a lot of strip quilts and sewing the strips from opposite ends as PaperPrincess suggested helps a lot.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:44 PM
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Thanks for the tip--I will try this.
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:03 PM
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Wow Jan! I am going to try that tip the next time I iron long strips. I always wondered what caused that bowing, now I know- thanks for the tip!
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:31 PM
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Jan, I love that tip. You are so full of information and willing to share.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:28 PM
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As others have said, Thank you Jan. That is a great tip that I will use the next time I sew strips.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:39 PM
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Yes! And if you gently lift the fabric just an inch or so before the iron as you go, it will make pressing the open seam so much easier!

Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
I've found this helps me and many of my students.

Jan in VA
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