Foolproof Topstitching!

I’m sewing my little Miki’s special birthday dress. It’s pink and navy and gold, and absolutely, unashamedly ruffley!

I’m mashing up two patterns from Create Kids Couture, the bodice of the Paris

and the Stacy skirt,

While sewing this itsy bitsy teeny weenie bodice I’ve had one major challenge – neat and accurate topstitching. My stitching always lists off to the edge, and it looks really untidy, especially since I am using bright pink thread. Then it struck me – I should use my Overcast foot! 
The overcast foot is usually used with the overcast stitch on your sewing machine, simulating a serger stitch. It has this handy little guide that the fabric edge butts up with, guiding the fabric so that the overcast stitch sits along the edge and prevents fraying. In this case, the seam is guided by the tongue and a straight topstitch falls a precise 1/8″ from the seam. 
This is without the overcast foot, notice the very uneven topstitching!
This is with the overcast foot!
Neat topstitch even on the curves of the armscye!

Don’t get confused between these two feet – the overcast foot is on the left, and the 1/4″ foot for quilting is on the left. The latter allows for accurate 1/4″ seams when piecing fabric, but it’s not so great for topstitching. 

Here’s a special edgestitch foot with the guide tongue in the middle, from SeasonedHomemaker. This way, the tongue sits right on the seam and allows you to sew all three – a perfect stitch-in-the-ditch, standard topstitching and even a double topstitch! I really need to get this foot next!