Sewing & Pattern making Terms


In the world of sewing and garment construction, understitching is a valuable technique used by seamstresses and pattern makers to create a neat and professional finish on garment facings and linings. Understitching ensures that the facing or lining remains in place, preventing it from rolling or peeking out. Let’s explore the world of understitching and discover its significance in achieving impeccable garment construction.

What is an Understitch?

Understitching is a technique that involves sewing a line of stitching on the wrong side of a garment’s facing or lining, close to the seam line. This stitching attaches the facing or lining to the seam allowances, securing them together and preventing them from rolling to the garment’s right side.

Purpose and Benefits of Understitching

Understitching serves both functional and aesthetic purposes, enhancing the overall quality of a garment. Let’s explore its benefits:

  • Maintaining the Structure: Understitching helps maintain the structure and shape of a garment by keeping the facing or lining in place. This prevents them from shifting or becoming visible from the outside.
  • Preventing Rolling: By stitching the facing or lining close to the seam line, understitching prevents them from rolling to the garment’s right side. This ensures that the edges remain crisp and well-defined.
  • Creating a Neat Finish: Understitching creates a clean and professional finish on garment interiors. This type of stitch is hidden from view, contributing to a polished and refined appearance.

When to Understitch

Understitching is typically applied to facings, linings, or any areas where two layers of fabric meet. It is commonly used in the following situations:

  • Necklines: Understitching is often employed on neckline facings to prevent them from rolling outwards and peeking from the garment’s right side.
  • Armholes: Armhole facings or linings can benefit from understitching to ensure they stay in place and maintain their shape.
  • Waistbands: Understitching along waistband facings or linings helps secure them and prevent them from shifting or rolling.

Understitching Techniques

To achieve effective understitching, consider the following techniques:

  • Seam Allowance Trimming: Before understitching, trim the seam allowances of the facing or lining, reducing bulk and allowing for smoother stitching.
  • Sewing Direction: Position the facing or lining on top of the garment, with the right sides together. Stitch from the facing or lining side, sewing close to the seam line. This ensures that the understitching remains hidden when the garment is turned right side out.
  • Stitch Length and Placement: Use a regular stitch length, typically between 2.5mm and 3mm, for understitching. Place the stitching line as close to the seam line as possible, without crossing it.
  • Stitching Straight and Even: Maintain a steady pace and sew in a straight line, following the shape of the facing or lining. Ensure the stitches are even and consistently spaced for a professional finish.

Finishing Touches

After understitching, press the facing or lining and the seam allowances together, directing the seam towards the facing or lining side. This helps set the understitching and further ensures a flat and well-defined edge.


Understitching is a valuable technique that seamstresses employ to achieve a neat, professional finish on facings and linings. By understanding the purpose, applying it at appropriate areas, and employing proper understitching techniques, you can elevate the quality and appearance of your garments. Embrace the art of understitching, and enjoy the satisfaction of impeccable construction and refined finishes in your sewing projects.

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Melissa Villegas
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