Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The dreaded Y seam

I have been doing some more work on stars. This time it was the eight pointed star, which includes some of the dreaded Y seams! I have always shied away from these before, because on the odd occasion that I did try one, it ended up a lumpy mess! This time I researched my subject carefully and tried several different methods. This is the one I found worked best for me.

First of all, when sewing you main shape, don't sew all the way to the end of the seam. Stop a quarter of an inch from the end and do a couple of back stitches. This allows the fabric to move a bit and not be caught in the sewing.

Most methods suggest you mark the corner of both shapes at the quarter inch intersection. I went one better than this, and marked the seam line up to the corner in both directions on the wrong side of the fabric - easy to see exactly where you are sewing and where the intersection is.



Then you lay the piece to be sewn on top of the star, right sides together with the edges parallel, and the intersection firmly in line with the seam line. You can poke a pin throught the intersection to check it's directly on the seam line if you like. Put a pin in to secure it while you sew.



Sew along the seam line up to the intersection and stop with your needle down.

This is the only tricky bit. Swivel the pieces round, so the next two edges are ready to sew. Try to straighten both pieces of fabric, especially at the Y bit, so they lie flat (or at least flattish!). Then continue sewing right to the end of the shape.


It should look something like this when it's finished.Now press and hey presto, a flat Y seam!

OK, it would have been better if I hadn't lost one of my points, but a bit of fudging will solve that. At least my Y seams are tuck and lump free!

8 comments:

Joyce said...

I have sewn y-seams on garments but have yet to try them on a quilt block. Thanks to your tutorial, I may have to put that on my list of things to try.

Karol-Ann said...

Thanks for this. I will try and remember it because I have a Lone Star without Y-seams sitting in my UFO pikle for about 8 or 9 years now!!! :-(

Sew Create It - Jane said...

If you can bear it, larger inset pieces can help in that you can then square up the block when it is finished.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

...thus not losing your points...

Sorry I needed to add that for it to make sense! LOL

Marsha said...

Beautiful Y seam! I hate it when they lump up and look pitiful. Nice job. Yes, a bit of fudging and that point will be just that, a point!

anne bebbington said...

Mmmmm, Y seams - a bit too much like dress-making for my liking, as are curved seams - you'd never think I dress-made (is that a real word?) for years before I discovered how deliciously flat patchwork and quilting is by comparison - tee hee!!!

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