It took me a while to understand and to actually use directional sewing with all my projects. Here are two easy ways to know which direction to sew:
- Sew from wide to narrow: the wide part of your garment piece is the strongest, because it has more thread intersections and is less likely to distort out of shape, or
- Run your finger along the edge of the garment piece. If the threads stand out you are moving your finger against the grain; if they lie smoothly – that’s the direction you want to sew.
On the photograph below, I staystitched the neckline from the V-point to the shoulder, repeating the same for the other side.
A finicky fabric would also require that you follow the grain when cutting and, especially, pressing!
I am using a light-weight muslin for my flapper dress top, so I am extremely careful not to stretch out neckline and armholes when pressing. In fact, after the muslin piece was cut, I staystitched those off-grain parts and then pressed, and then checked against the paper pattern again to make sure that I haven’t accidentally stretched out any of those edges.
Do you use directional stitching in your sewing?