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View Full Version : What Does It Mean to 'Reinforce Neck Edge"?



Spy_on_the_Inside
01-16-2015, 06:08 AM
I'm working on a pair of pajamas from a McCall's pattern (M5992), and I've come to a part in the instructions that I don't understand. It has to do with the collar of the pajamas.

9. REINFORCE neck edge of uninterfaced collar (4) through triangles, as shown. Slip to triangles.

Turn in seam allowance between clips. Press. Trim pressed seem allowance to 3/8".

I have no idea what it means to REINFORCE something and my searches on Google and Youtube have not yielded anything useful. Anyone who can give me some tips on what these instructions mean, I would be deeply grateful.

And any tips you can give on the rest of the instructions would be great too.

TessB
01-16-2015, 07:17 AM
Without seeing the illustration I'm not 100% sure, but I'd assume that means stay-stitch the curve around the back of the neck so that it doesn't stretch out of shape. Should that be 'clip to triangles'? If so, then the instruction translation would be:

Stitch a line from one triangle to another, just inside the seam allowance.

Clip from the neck edge to the triangle markings to release that section, then turn just that piece between the clips under to that there's now a folded edge.

Press.

Does that make sense, given the rest of the instructions and the diagram? it could also mean apply some fusible interfacing, I suppose, but I'd think that would be described differently.

C.bronco
01-16-2015, 07:27 AM
re-sew it????

TessB
01-16-2015, 07:39 AM
Is that a question for me, bronco? Stay stitching isn't sewing two pieces together; it's a step usually done before you do much of anything else to a piece. Running a line of stitching around a cut curve like a neck or armhole prevents the fabric from stretching out as you work with it.

Old Hack
01-16-2015, 11:52 AM
Tess, your explanation makes good sense to me, given the limited information we have.

mccardey
01-16-2015, 12:26 PM
You know, I've been wondering about this since I saw the thread this morning and I've just decided it could mean anything.

I hope that helped.

Maryn
01-16-2015, 06:17 PM
I have this pattern. They seem to be counting on the illustrations more than they should.

9. REINFORCE neck edge of uninterfaced collar (4) through triangles, as shown. Slip to triangles. Before you attach the interfacing, stitch along the seam line going right through the triangle markings. Use a regular stitch length. Then clip the cloth right up to but not including the stitches at each triangle.

Turn in seam allowance between clips. Press. Trim pressed seem allowance to 3/8". Fold the seam allowance--the 5/8 inch beyond the line of stitching you just made--between the clipped triangles in the direction shown in the illustration. Use an iron to press it so it lies truly flat. Trim 1/4 inch off the original 5/8 inch seam, so the folded over part is only 3/8 inch.

Make sense?

BTW, I understand that pattern layouts and instructions are done by design students, not pros, except at Vogue, so mistakes and lack of clarity are not all that unusual. Although I did once have a Vogue pattern tell me to put a zipper in a seam that was not here, since the layout had me cutting that piece on a fold. Sigh...

Maryn, who buys more patterns than she uses

harmonyisarine
01-17-2015, 09:19 PM
BTW, I understand that pattern layouts and instructions are done by design students, not pros, except at Vogue, so mistakes and lack of clarity are not all that unusual. Although I did once have a Vogue pattern tell me to put a zipper in a seam that was not here, since the layout had me cutting that piece on a fold. Sigh...

Maryn, who buys more patterns than she uses

I was unaware of this, but it explains why Vogue's patterns are so different. Probably also why I like the directions and end fit better, too (though trying to use Vogue before I knew what I was doing was a futile thing).

Maryn
01-17-2015, 09:47 PM
It also explains why Vogue patterns never get cheaper than $4, though McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity often go on sale at retailers for $1 or $1.25.

Vogue can still stymie me easily enough, though. Stitch in a dress weight? Say what? Turns out it's a non-rusting washer or similar item which gives a facing a little weight to encourage it to stay in place at a draped or cowl neckline. You can't buy dress weights any more, of course, and I only learned what they are because a woman in her 70s overheard me and the JoAnn clerk wondering aloud.

I sewed in a nickel.

Maryn, who has little other use for nickels

Orianna2000
01-18-2015, 07:41 AM
I agree that it sounds like they're telling you to stay-stitch that edge, then clip in at the triangles and press that section under. I had to do something similar with a student's caftan-style vest and it was very confusing! They had you stitch the triangles, then cut through them, which made no sense, and as a result, the collar of the vest was puckered, and the triangles showed! It was awful.

Worse, though, was the time a New Look pattern told me to sew a collar on backwards. It was for a men's button-down shirt, and we couldn't figure it out during class, so I asked my student to leave the pattern with me and I would have it ready to sew by his next class. I spent HOURS sewing half-sized mockups, trying to get them to work according to the directions. Eventually, I realized the directions were flawed, so I tried doing it on my own, instead of following the instructions. I quickly figured out that if I flipped the collar over and attached the OTHER side to the neckline, it would work perfectly. When my student returned the following week, we were able to attach his collar easily. But I was appalled that such a mistake would be in a pattern that's labeled as "Easy! For Beginners." If he'd tried to do it on his own--not in class, with an expert to figure it out for him--my student probably would have quit sewing out of frustration. I've seen it happen!

I also had a pair of jeans that had mirror-image directions for the fly zipper. I had to mentally reverse every step, in order to make the zipper come out right. Otherwise, it would have been facing the wrong direction. I think it's very irresponsible of the pattern companies to let such obvious mistakes into their patterns!

Maryn
01-18-2015, 07:30 PM
Simplicity and New Look have well-deserved reputations for providing incomprehensible or impossible directions. Hm, maybe that should have been and/or.

A few years ago, when Kid Two got her B.A., I started a dress to wear to the ceremony and after-party. Alas, it was never completed because the directions had me doing something which was not physically possible, turning something to the inside going right through a double-stitched seam.

Luckily, they sell dresses. And the bottom part made a decent skirt which I still wear.

Maryn, who won't buy Simplicity now

Alessandra Kelley
01-18-2015, 07:48 PM
It also explains why Vogue patterns never get cheaper than $4, though McCalls, Butterick, and Simplicity often go on sale at retailers for $1 or $1.25.

Vogue can still stymie me easily enough, though. Stitch in a dress weight? Say what? Turns out it's a non-rusting washer or similar item which gives a facing a little weight to encourage it to stay in place at a draped or cowl neckline. You can't buy dress weights any more, of course, and I only learned what they are because a woman in her 70s overheard me and the JoAnn clerk wondering aloud.

I sewed in a nickel.

Maryn, who has little other use for nickels

You can also use zinc washers. Fender washers are good.

***

Ahh, dress pattern instructions. They seem to be based on one already having a complete graduate-level understanding of sewing and its special terminology.

I can still remember the first time I was doing up a pattern and I came to the bald instruction, "Finish seams." Whut?

Simplicity is especially bad (although I like their specialty line of historical reproduction clothing).

(It's not just patterns. I still remember vividly the worst waste-of-time sewing book I ever have found, "The Illustrated Hassle-Free Make Your Own Clothes Book," by Sharon Rosenberg. Any child's coloring book would teach one better how to sew.)

Orianna2000
01-18-2015, 09:56 PM
I can still remember the first time I was doing up a pattern and I came to the bald instruction, "Finish seams." Whut?
Wow, with the exception of Kwik Sew patterns, I've never even seen a pattern that tells you to finish the seams. Do you remember which brand it was? (And do you know how to finish your seams now? If not, I have an article I wrote on a variety of professional seam finishes, which I could send you.)

For years, I didn't know you were supposed to finish your seams, so all my garments had raw edges that frayed horribly and looked terrible. When I finally learned how, I was ecstatic! And when I discovered that my sewing machine has an overlock stitch, and came with an overlock foot, I was even more thrilled.

It really annoys me that most patterns don't tell you to finish the seams, especially because it can be hard to tell when to finish them. If you don't do it at the right time, it can cause problems.


Simplicity is especially bad (although I like their specialty line of historical reproduction clothing).


Be careful with those. All the major commercial patterns are well-known for being NOT historically accurate, with the exception of a few Simplicity patterns that were made by an actual historical costumer. (I forget which ones they are, but you could probably Google it to find out.) But even with her patterns, Simplicity always adds extra ease, which is totally stupid. A corset should have negative ease, not extra ease! It means everything you make ends up way too big.

It's especially annoying because a lot of people who use commercial patterns are beginners who haven't discovered independent patterns yet. They don't know the benefits of making a mockup, and they don't realize that most patterns won't fit properly. So they cut the pattern out of their expensive fabric, and then are devastated when it doesn't fit. All that time, effort, and money is wasted. It can make them quit sewing altogether, which is a shame.

mirandashell
01-18-2015, 10:15 PM
Could you send that to me? I would love it cos I work in a material that frays like a bitch and knowing how to finish the edges without too much bulk in the seam would be a real bonus.

Orianna2000
01-19-2015, 02:10 AM
I'd be happy to, Miranda! PM me with your email address and I'll send you a PDF.

SewMichel
02-16-2017, 09:41 AM
Hello! I found this article/discussion after google searching for the instructions on McCalls pattern 7206. I wanted to add some info as to what I figured out.

Here are the specific instructions I had a question on: 7. REINFORCE neck edge of uninterfaced COLLAR (5) section through triangles, as shown. Clip to triangles.

The glossary of the pattern instructions says: "REINFORCE - Stitch along seamline where indicated in sewing instructions, using small machine stitches."

For pattern 7206 (men's shirt) the work applies to a collar and they are having me stitch at the seam allowance for a portion of the collar that will be turned under. 'Clip to triangles' is really 'clip at triangles' (one at each end of the stitching just performed) to allow the seam allowance of the area between the triangles to be folded under and pressed leaving the small machine stitches at the crease of the fold. This is really hard to explain without a picture. But reading the above discussion, and re-reading my pattern instructions kind of helped me figure this out. I hope this helps somebody someday.

JulianneQJohnson
02-17-2017, 12:24 AM
Agree with above posters. I was a costumer for 30 years or so. It's standard practice to stay-stitch any curve before clipping the seam allowance. This keeps the curve from stretching out of shape as you work with it. Necklines need to be stable, a stretched out curve means it won't lie smoothly on the body. Reinforce = stay stitch. Stitch on the stitching line, through one layer of fabric, with a slightly smaller than normal stitch, before clipping seam allowance.

SewMichel
02-18-2017, 07:31 AM
Thanks! I am new sewing and I appreciate all the input I can get. As a note, the McCall's instructions define both StayStitching and Reinforcing. Stay stitching is done inside the seam allowance, reinforcing is done at the seam allowance. i,e, staystitch is 3/8" from the raw edge, Reinforcement is 5/8" from the raw edge. They both seem to be a kind of reinforcement. No pun intended! ;-)

Alessandra Kelley
02-18-2017, 06:28 PM
The first time I was instructed to reinforce a pattern by sewing along all the seam lines on the cut fabric (not sewing them together, just sewing along the seam lines), I was surprised and a little put off by the extra work. But it made a huge difference in how easily the pieces later went together and didn't stretch on curves and bias-cut edges.

Filigree
02-19-2017, 02:46 AM
Old costume/cosplay trick: if you are too cheap to have thin interfacing on hand & you use fabrics softener sheets...save the used dryer sheets. Layer them under your to-be-reinforced edge. Use thin paper as a substrate if your presser foot eats fuzzy things. Sew your reinforcement seam, gently rip away paper, then trim away dryer sheets to one of two millimeters outside seam.

Your curved edge will be much more well behaved.

This thread reminds me how much I hate Simplicity patterns.