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I have so many problems with heads (including my own at times). When I sew a head, I go chin to neck - insert head gusset - oversew all. Machine sew up to about 90% of the way and handsew the last part of the nose to ensure it is straight with no buckling. BUT everytime the septum seam is skewed - off centre slightly. I made sure that the marks on the pattern were perfectly aligned when I sewed and I was super careful with stuffing. This time I used pure merino wool just for the nose. It keeps happening to me :(
What can I do??
Hey Leanne :)
Where are you starting your sewing when inserting the gusset? At the back of the neck or at the tip of the nose?
I sew the side heads together from tip of nose down to neck, then fold the gusset in half and mark it with a pen at the very centre point. Then I put my needle down into that mark and right through the centre of the seam on the front of the face that I just made. Then go all the way from nose tip to back of neck on one side, and then start again down the other side from nose tip to back of neck.
Is that what you mean? The septum is off centre... or do you mean the muzzle is torquing as you stuff and curving the septum seam to the side?
Edited to add: Also, are you basting or pinning before machine sewing? I'm wondering if maybe the fur is slipping at all when it's going through your machine.
Hi Erin, First I pin, then I baste and then I machine sew and finally hand sew the last part from eye to eye. I usually put a pin in the tip of the nose and then pin from the neck back up to the nose pin. I think it must be curving for some reason as I am really careful trying to get it exactly dead centre.
I think that might be why it's skewed. I would anchor the centre of the gusset at the nose to the centre seam of the head sides...ie the nose/chin seam. Then tack from the nose to the neck opening easing the fabric as you sew, so that you end up with the gusset fitted correctly. Most of the movement in the gusset happens because of the direction you sew if you tack from nose to nape on both sides before you you sew up this will help. When it's tacked...hold it face on to check that it's in straight ..then either machine it in or hand sew the whole thing. I often machine but I can see why people prefer to hand sew the gusset in.
Stuffing can twist the whole thing out too...as right or left handedness means you tend to be unconsciously more diligent stuffing one side more than the other. So as you stuff be careful to stuff evenly on both sides.
One more tip is to trim the extra triangle of fabric from the seam allowance at the very top of the seam holding the side-head pieces together. Snip away the outer "tip" of that seam allowance so that it isn't involved when you attach the gusset there.
One other potential problem has to do with machine sewing. When you use the machine, it can sometimes "drag" the pieces underneath (the side-head pieces) to one side as it goes around the nose part of the head gusset. Be sure to really flatten out the goods so that you're only sewing the gusset seam and not doing anything to affect the position of the side-head pieces underneath.
Clear as mud?
Thanks ladies, it kinda makes sense. Maybe has something to do with the chin seam. I'll just have to be more careful when sewing and stuffing and see what happens next time.
I always hand sew every head so that i can make sure as i go along that it is sitting right. Perhaps if you hand sew a few it may show whats happening when you do it by machine?
Jenbee, that is worth a try, thanks.
I actually found hand sewing the whole head lead to more wonkiness through minor slippages as I stitched. I whipstitch tack the gusset in place, then machine stitch the eye to neck part, and hand finish the nose, starting in the centre and working out to where the machine finished.