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Machine Minute: Secrets for Sewing Long Strips

Do you notice your seams bow when sewing long strips? To keep your long strips straight, follow this simple tip.

Thu, 9 Jan 2014|

Hi, I'm Jennifer, here with another Machine Minute brought you by Baby Lock and the Crescendo machine. Precut strips are more popular than ever. And there are more and more patterns coming out with ways to use them in their original state. But, has this ever happened to you? You're working on a project with a lot of strip sets sewn together and you notice that things start to bow. Your shape is sort of getting lost in translation. The more strips you have, the more things start to curve at one end. I'm going to share with you today the secret to fixing that problem. Whether you're working with strips of 12"-15" in length or working with a 42" strip, here's the deal. When you're sewing a lot of strips together, it always matters the directions you're sewing. You don't want to sew from one end to the other end (from top to bottom), and then start again from the top and sew to the bottom and then add the fourth strip by starting at the same end and sewing to the bottom. That's the reason you end up sometimes with a bowed or misshapen piece once your strips are sewn together. Instead, you want to change directions with every strip that you add. So, for strips #1 and #2, I might start at this end and I'll sewn down. When I'm adding the third strip on, I'll start with the opposite end and sew in this directions. By reversing direction every time I add a strip, I can make sure that my seams that are long stay accurate and sharp and there's no bowing. Now, how do you keep track of which direction you're going? Well, there are a few things you can do. When I was working with this project, I had the selvage end on one of the strips. So on my first strip, I started at the selvage end. So when I'm getting ready to add my third strip I'll simply make sure that I start on the opposite end. I could also place a pin with the head of the pin pointed in the direction that I want to sew. Then if you wanted to sew multiple strips together, you could sew the first two strips and these two strips together always starting at the same end (the selvage end in my case). Then on odd number rows when you're adding 3 and 4 and 5 and 6, start at the opposite end. Doing this will be the key in making your long strips straighter and more accurate. And, if you haven't yet had a change to look at the video with four tips for sewing straight, check that out, because you'll find even more ways to make sure that you stay straight when you're sewing those long or short seams. Directional sewing with long seams is very important for keeping things accurate. Give it a try!