A seam is normally used to describe the join where several layers of fabrics are held together by stitches. Sewers can normally choose between various types of seams for their projects. It is quite important to adopt the proper seam for your fabric to ensure that your project remains durable and professional-looking. Indeed with the proper finishing seam, it is possible to bring a far neater look to your garments, which is why they are particularly important when it comes to clothes-making, including evening wear.
There are several seams that can be used during clothing construction. The four basic types of seams include lapped seams, abutted seams, French seams or plain seams. While these are mainly used during the construction process, it is also important to apply seam finishes to your projects to ensure that they last for several years- if not decades.
Finishing your seams with a serger
A serging machine, also known as a overlocker, is commonly used to finish your seams and ensure that your work does not unravel. A serging machine also encloses the seam allowance inside the fabric, which makes your finished project far more durable. A serger can also be used to trim the seams. It is important to note that not all sergers provide the same option. The market normally provides three main types of serging machines: the 2-4 thread serger, 3-4 thread serger and 5-thread serger. You can find out more about sergers at My Sewing Adventure. These apparatuses are also available in various price ranges. Check out some reviews before making your buying decision.
Seam positioning by hand
Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to invest in a serging machine to indulge in successful finishing seams. Quite on the contrary, it is actually recommended to sew finishing hems by hand for added precision. Sewing finishing hems by hand will also allow you to find the perfect positioning for your seams. A center front seam, for example, should preferably be placed in a vertical position down the front of your garment. Similarly princess seams are positioned in the front and run down to shape the fabric to the wearer’s body shape. This completely eliminates the need for adding stitches at the shoulder, waist and bust.
Types of finishing seams
There are quite a few finishing seams to choose from, according to the type of fabric that you’re using. The main types of seams to finish your projects are:
- Bound seams: Bound seams basically consist of enclosing the raw edges in a strip of fabric, net binding or lace. Not unlike the double fold bias tape, bound seams are commonly used to secure lightweight and delicate fabrics such as unlined garments made from chiffon, silk or satin.
- Hong Kong seams: With a Hong Kong seam, sewers normally need to cut the width of the seam allowance in such a way so that it is more than ¼”.
- Abutted seams: This type of seam can be used in either the finishing or the construction process. Ideal for both hand and machine sewing, this type of seam is used since the 19th century for chemises or shirts. It is also ideal for linen garments and bedsheets.
- Plain seams: The plain seam is the most common type of machine-sewn finishing seam. Like the abutted seams, it can either be used during the construction or the finishing phrase of your project. A plain seam basically involves sewing two pieces of fabric in a face-to-face position. A seam allowance involves leaving raw edges inside your project. To render your fabric more secure and prevent your work from unravelling with time, it is recommended that you insert either cording or piping into the plain seam.