Today we’ll do a quick sewing step: stitch in the ditch of our collar and neckline seam. I remember mentioning stitch-in-the-ditch a while back and it was a new term to many of you! Have you heard the term ‘stitch in the ditch’ before? It’s not that common in sewing patterns, which tend to favor hand-stitching instead.
If you wanted, you could hand-stitch the seam allowances together, rather than stitch in the ditch. Or, you could edgestitch along the collar seam, catching through both layers, instead of stitching in the ditch. It depends on your fabric – thread will ‘sink’ into thicker fabrics but be visible on thinner fabrics.
Want to catch up on previous Sew-Along posts? Click the links below to read more:
- Join the Minoru Sew-Along: January 16th, 2012! (Find the Sew-Along badge here, too!)
- Why is the Minoru Jacket Pattern Not Suitable for Plaid Fabric?
- Guest Post: Caroline on Sewing Waterproof Outerwear
- Minoru Jacket Q & A
- Fabric Recommendations for the Minoru Jacket
- A Full Bust Adjustment on the Minoru Jacket, Courtesy of Alana
- Sew-Along Speed: How Fast Do You Want to Go?
- My Minoru Jacket Fabric Choices
- Five Ways to Tell if Your Fabric Is Water-Resistant
- Minoru Inspiration: Dots!
- Update: Minoru Sew-Along Starts on Monday!
- The Very First Minoru Muslin
- Minoru Sew-Along #1: Let’s Get Started!
- Minoru Sew-Along #2: Sewing Sleeves and Topstitching Tips
- What is Triple Stitch?
- Minoru Sew-Along #3: Gathering!
- How to Make Your Own Piping
- Minoru Sew-Along #4: Sewing the Hood
- Minoru Sew-Along #5: A Change in the Line-Up and Checking In
- Minoru Sew-Along #6: The Secret Hood Zipper
- Minoru Sew-Along #7: Sewing the Hood to the Collar (Quick Post!)
- Minoru Sew-Along #8: We Finally Get to Pull the Gathers!
- Adding Pockets to the Minoru Jacket: Amy’s Awesome Tutorial
- Minoru Sew-Along #9: Front Plackets, Front Zipper
- Flap Pockets on the Minoru Jacket
- Minoru Sew-Along #10: All About Cuffs
- Minoru Sew-Along #11: Little Hidden Pockets
- Minoru Sew-Along #12: A Useful Hanging Loop
- How to Make a Chain Hanging Loop
- Minoru Sew-Along #13: Sewing the Lining
- Minoru Sew-Along #14: Putting It All Together
- Minoru Sew-Along #15: An Alternative to Slipstitching Cuffs
A good place to start is to explain why we’re doing this step. I like to know why we do certain things, it helps me to understand their importance! And it also helps me think of alternatives and different approaches to solve the problem. Often with sewing, there are multiple ways to achieve the same result! There isn’t always one single correct way.
So why do we need to stitch in the ditch?
To keep the hood out of our lining. If we leave this neck seam open, our hood can fall down in between our jacket back and lining. It’ll be harder to reach for in a rainstorm that way!
To support the collar. By stitching the collars together at the neck seam, it keeps them aligned and stops the inner collar from rolling to the inside.
To hide the insides of our jackets. If we don’t stitch this seam closed, we’ll be able to peek all the way down our jackets from the zipper opening.
To support the hanging loop. Without the ‘stitch in the ditch’ we would be hanging up the jacket by the loop, but pulling the lining out of the jacket in the process. This way, when we hang the jacket, both layers are hanging together.
Have you ever had a jacket that needs ‘rearranging’ of the inner and outer layers because they’re not sewn together well? Or that comes completely separated in the wash? This will help our jackets hold their shape.
Now that we’ve covered the why, the actual sewing is very straightforward. Line up the neckline seams of your jacket, feeling through both layers so they’re aligned.
See where the pin is? That’s the ‘ditch’ we’ll be sewing in. Pin all along the neckline seam, feeling underneath to make sure the under collar is lined up.
When we go to sew in the ditch, you’ll want to sew as close to the fold as possible, without jumping over the fold onto the collar piece. Poke the needle into the ditch before lowering the presser foot, to be sure it’s lined up correctly.
Stitch in the ditch, stopping when you reach the placket on the other side. You can see in the photo below what the ditch-stitching looks like. My thread matches well, so it’s hard to see, but you can just barely see the line of stitches in the ditch. (Note: if you’re using contrast topstitching everywhere, this is one place where you’ll want to match the thread to the fabric.)
Here’s our collar so far. It looks pretty good – and most importantly, it will sit nicely around our necks, staying in place and not falling down inside the jacket.
Just a few more steps left, and our jackets will be finished! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!