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June 2010
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Types Of Seams

          There are three main types of seams that you will be using for most of the sewing items you will make.

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(1)  A straight seam is the one that is used most often.  In a well-made straight seam, the stitching is exactly the same distance from the seam edge the entire length of the seam.  In most cases, a plain straight stitch is used.  For stretchy fabrics, however, a tiny zigzag or special machine stitch may be used.

(2)  A curved seam requires careful guiding as it passes under the needle so that the entire seam line will be the same even distance from the edge.  The separate seam guide will help here, so will running the machine slower than usual.

(3)  A cornered seam needs reinforcement at the angle to strengthen it.  This is done by using small stitches for 1” on either side of the corner.  After completing the “corner” you can switch back to the regular stitch length.  It is also important to pivot with accuracy so the seam line will be correct on both sides of the corner.  When cornered seams are enclosed, as in a collar, (shown below) the corners should be blunted so that a better point results when the collar is turned.

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          Blunting the corner is done by taking one stitch diagonally across the corner of a fine fabric (A); two on a medium one (B) and three stitches on a heavy or bulky fabric (C).

          These “how to” tutorials are an excerpt from our book “Basic Clothing Construction”.   This book is a handy addition to have in your sewing room, so you can refer to the various sewing tips and tutorials at any time

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Pattern Maker, Instructor & Author

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