from The Century Dictionary.
- noun In sewing-machine work, a method of sewing with a two-needle machine in which a stay or tape is sewed down over a seam to strengthen it: used in staying gaiters, corsets, etc. The machine feeds the stay to the fabric or leather and sews both edges down at the same time. Stay-stitching is also done with a special two-needle machine, without the use of a stay or reinforcing tape, by making a flat stay-stitch across the seam.
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Instead, they recommend stay-stitching on the edge where the zipper goes, but other than that just using a knits needle and not stretching the material with your hands as you sew.
The water makes the straw stitchable and cuttable without splintering/cracking, and the stay-stitching keeps the weave from fraying.
First, i saturated the straw with water, stay-stitched around the base of the crown in two rows 1/2 apart, and cut the crown from the brim in between those rows of stay-stitching.