Effective Use of Directional Sewing

To prevent twisting in a garment, all seams should be sewn up from the bottom of the garment, or sewn down from the top of the garment. High-end sews up.
High-end garments are sewn up from the hem.

Sewing up from the bottom of the garment, is more difficult than sewing down, as the seam’s two plies must meet, notch-to-notch, both at the beginning and at the end of the seam. Operators who sew up are generally paid more than operators who sew down as they as a rule are highly skilled.

Low-end garments are sewn down to make sure they meet at the top of the seam.

Sewing down from the top of the garment, is easier than sewing up from the bottom of the garment.  If the seam’s two plies do not meet at the hem, the hem can just be sewn a bit off skew. Operators who sew down are generally less skilled than operators who sew up.

Zippers are except from this rule
Zippers are sewn first one direction and then the other.

Zippers are sewn up and down, instead of always in the same direction

Which direction a zipper is sewn depends on which direction allows the ply with the most ease to be sewn down to the feed.

The seam allowance has more ease than the zipper tape. The zipper tape is always the top ply, allowing the seam allowance’s ease to be eased in as the zipper is sewn.

Unless fabric is fused, it has give; zipper tapes have almost no give.

The feed dog moves the seam’s bottom ply slightly faster than the top ply. Understanding this enables more successful sewing.

Laying the ply with the most ease down to the feed enables the feed dog to ease in the slight stretch in the bottom ply, allowing the two or more plies to be sewn together correctly. This is why industry sews zippers first one direction and then the other.  Zipper tapes have almost no ease, making it almost impossible to sew a zipper correctly to a seam allowance if the zipper is down to the feed.

For only $19.95 you can learn the professional skills, used in industry, you need to know to set high-end zippers.


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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2020

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