Thursday, November 04, 2004

This ( I think ) is the last post in the series of double on half procedures. For those not registered having questions to post, contact Karen for blogger invitation.

Where I left off, I had ( let's say ) three groups of people, some having not unpinned the fitting ( method one ) some having unpinned and repinned in a single layer ( method two ) and some having unpinned the outside body parts and corded them ( method three ).

No one group has saved time, the time you use on the first try will be understanding what you are looking at. There are no wrong answers, you can do something other than what I am describing as long as you understand it.

The standards to hit here are:

cord applied to outside body pieces does not cause outside body pieces to become smaller. Nothing puckers or twists. Baste only, using largest stitch that does not cause to pucker.

Inside body pieces blend ( get sewn ) into the outside body piece to which it goes, by easing it in. You may have planned darts, sew them securely. There will be excess to blend, a little or a lot. Baste joining seam at first only. Once certain, resew. You may have areas that need to be stretched as well. If notches demand it, then stretch.

The cord you use outlines certain shapes in a purposeful way. I will end this post with a list that will tell you where you'd normally apply it .

Intersections are secure, yet flexible. This will be your biggest challenge. If and when you sew over top of a previously corded seam, it must naturally meet the seam you are currently sewing at a 90 degree angle, or you must not sew over top the seam allowance of the formerly made seam. Alternately, as in quilting, you may sew up to a point and stop, approaching it from all directions. You need not sew over the middle or over seam allowances. Backtack all. Pull 1/2" of cording out of any seam you are crossing or approaching with the alternate suggestion.

Your uncorded seams ( the seams which dive into the deck area ) all almost always flat and smooth. When there's excess ( bunchiness ) to one side, ease, or if previously noted and planned, dart. With more confident cutting, bunchiness will occurless often. At minimum overlock these uncorded seams to strengthen them. You may top stitch as well.

All notches must match. If they are off to a greater extent than 1/4" at one spot, or 1/8" in a series, you must rip and restart. You need not sew a long seam from start to finish. Match ( sew ) notches first and then close between them. You may sew cord on half ( the outside most half ) and then sew the inside body piece to it. Your notches get sewn first and then the rest. Untill you get experience, do this piece meal.

Whatever you do to the right side you must do to the left. This statement applies to good sewing as well as bad. Assume the cutting was not as easy to understand as you now would like it to be. Close the seam in such a way that the notches match, the slipcover is not made smaller ( bunched ) and the intersections are flexible. You think it looks funny ? It may well look funny and be correct. It may well be that it was cut as well as it ever could have been. It may simply look new~funny to you now, it will look normal later.

You have made compromises to make the seams come together, notches matching, intersections flexible and still there's bunching at that intersection, so ease it in. Do same right and left, press well over a ham, and you are done. This is highly characteristic of sewing slipcovers for the first time on the wrong side, it's only as smooth and self evident as it was cut, and you will soon improve.

The list :

Front arm panels get a cord around both side and the top, not skirt line.

Outside wings get corded on the front and top.

Outside backs get corded on sides and top, not skirt line.

Outside arms get corded on the top only, unless there's no front panel, and then they get a cord on the front as well.

Above is the norm. It does not cover all contingencies. It is not meant to curtain creativity. It's a place to start if you don't know anything and want your first cover to look " normal ".

When you have bias seams ( barrel backs ) strengthen them with cord or sew flat and overlock.

When you have contrast cord, your creativity may dictate other answers, you choose.

I will answer all questions asked, general or specific. Post here please, so all may benefit.

I have delibetately omitted order of joining above. I will generalize, but please don't allow this to confuse or redirect you. What's above will give you enough information to see your individual answers. If this list contradicts, the list does not apply.

Seaming order :

deck to inside back ( unless a barrel chair ) from center out to ends.

inside arm to inside back, from top of chair or sofa arm, into the deck. ( if wing, see ( *a ) )

From front arm panel, sew inside arm to deck. Start ( alternately ) from a center out notch and close what you can if the front near arm panel is not yet self evident to you.

If there are short corded seams close them now. These may occur to join front or top panels, or top arm panels.

( * A ) If there's a wing, there is a horizontal uncorded seam to the inside body. Close.

Cord and close up top arm, inside arm to outside arm, join as much as you can. If wing, sew wing to outside arm, leave wing arm intersection to last.

Front arm panel once corded can be joined to the arms. Leave intersections untill last.

Outside back once corded can be joined to all.

Cord skirt line next, and then add skirt cuts. Zipper if needed ( I zip everything ) .

Intersections: if all notches match, and you have sewn ( approached ) up to these areas, you may now see a logical self evident path to closing them. There are now two considerations new to this explanation. The second will follow in next paragraph. Which direction do you lay the cord over if you choose to cross the seam allowance and force it to lie down.? If for now, you sew up to it and not cross, then you need not choose. Later, you will be surer of the aesthetic choices.

Second, and very very impoprtant: it's here you will sew securely areas you have slashed deeply( to shape while cutting ) and perhaps cut on a bias angle. You must deal with this the best you can, it's nature is to be imperfect, regardless of cutting experience.

Sew as many lines of stitching as you feel will secure it untill it weakens the cloth to puncture it more. It will always be ugly to look at. If you can prevent bunching, perhaps by taking less seam allowance on the intersecting seams, do so. Take a little more seam allowance than planned and in the fewest spots you can, but you certainly may. It's compromise, it must be secure, and it must be flexible. It will be ugly. I recommend serging these areas after sewn, not before.

The last issue, as I have left it out but for brief mention in all the rest of sewing details. When do you overlock ?

It may be controversial to say, but overlocking is not as important as understanding your pin fitting right now. The allignment of the puzzle shapes in there proper place is far more important than the looks of the seam on the side. For this reason, overlock only when you can, only where you have sure knowlege of where your puzzle pieces line up. For the sake of success at your first double on half pin fitting, you may overlock last and where able. It's not a priority today. Tomorrow you may overlock as you better understand your own cutting. Be content, with perhaps zig zagging the closed seams today.

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