June 15, 2011

Self Finished Seams Pt. I



Today I'll be going over a few self finished seams and then tomorrow, I'll add a few more. For these seam finishes, just make sure that you watch the right and wrong sides of the fabric - I've tried to make that clear, but don't hesitate to ask questions. Gosh, you guys will be seam finishing fiends by the end of this. Also, how would you feel if I showed you some seam finishes in action next week? Like, garments that I've completed and the different seam finishes I've used in the different areas of the garments? Sometimes you have all the tools, but you don't know where to apply the tools - and usually there's not really a right or wrong answer when it comes to this type of thing. Let me know what you think and we'll continue seam finishing into next week. Sound good? Alright, let's get into self finished seams:

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French Seam


This is my favorite seam finish when I'm working with silk type fabrics - especially sheers. It looks positively lovely when done.



To do a french seam, you'll begin with your seam allowances wrong sides together, pin and stitch 1/4" seam allowance. Now, trim this seam allowance to 1/8" and press it to one side.



Turn over and press a crease along the newly stitched seam allowance with right sides together. Pin, and stitch 3/8" seam allowance. This will end up enclosing the raw edge of the first seam that was stitched.



Use for: sheer to medium weight fabrics
Application: apply this seam finish as you construct a garment



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Simulated French Seam


I'm a forgetful type, especially while sewing. So this is a great option if you've forgotten that you wanted to do a french seam somewhere and you didn't prep it right.



With right sides together, stitch 5/8" seam allowance. Instead of pressing the seam open, press each seam allowance side in towards the seam 1/4".



Pin and stitch 1/8" from the edge of the folded edges.



When finished, press the seam to one side. That's a pretty nifty trick right?


Use for: sheer to medium weight fabrics
Application: apply this seam finish after you've stitched a seam allowance


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Flat Felled or Felled Seam


You'll see this seam finish on jeans, but you can apply it anywhere you like really. What about applying this lovely to the Sewaholic's Crescent Skirt waistband? The cool thing about flat felled seams is that they are raised up from the surface and create not only visual, but a textural effect as well. This is a key thing to remember with felled seams because these are on the garment's outside. The above techniques are on the garment's inside. Cool huh?



With wrong sides together, stitch a 5/8" seam allowance (or larger, but that would entail prior thought to seam allowances before cutting your final fabric).



Press towards one side and trim the bottom seam allowance to 1/8". Press the top seam allowance in towards the center 1/4".




Pin and edgestitch 1/8" from the folded edge of the top seam allowance through all layers of fabric. For extra bulky fabrics, slip stitch the top seam allowance in place and then edgestitch if needed.


Use for: lightweight to heavyweight & bulky fabrics
Application: apply this seam finish after you've stitched a seam allowance


I'll be back tomorrow with more self finished seam goodness.


xoxo,


Sunni

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18 comments

  1. These tutorials are really a great reference. Thanks so much for putting such a great effort into them and for making them available to all of us.

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  2. Yes, I'm with Andrea.
    Thank you so much for doing this. The information is priceless :)

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  3. thank you thank you thank you!

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  4. I have a question.. is there a finishing I should or shouldn't use for a seam that has a curve? For example: armholes or the side seam of a fitted dress? I'm worried the seam on the inside would look distorted..

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  5. Add my thanks to the others - this is a great set of tutorials in one place!

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  6. Hi Christina,

    Actually there is a great seam finish for seams with curves that I'll be showing tomorrow and next week I'll show some garments and the various seam finishes I've used to complete them. I'm so glad this is helpful to so many! Thanks for your input!

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  7. I learned to do a flat felled seam with right sides together, so that the seam allowance is on the inside of the garment and only topstitching is visible on the outside. It works just as you've shown, but I think the result is a bit neater.
    Thanks for putting all this together!

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  8. I really like your tutorials ! I am also very interested in seeing the seams on the clothes you made, thank you for this idea !

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  9. I'd love to have some real life examples of how various seam finishes are used. Especially ideas about how to make seams with zippers in them look nice. Thanks for doing this series!

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  10. I love your simulated French Seam! I could have used that last night--I sewed the wrong sides together for a French seam, and actually ended up ripping it out and re-doing it. Ug. Next time, I'll use your quick fix! Thanks!

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  11. Great tips. With the French seam, wouldn't it be bulky? What kind of seam finishes do you normally use for things you want to lie flat? I'm having a really difficult time right now with a polyester lining for a skirt because the fabric keeps bunching up every time I try to finish it! Thanks, again.

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  12. Actually it's not as bulky as you might think, especially for something like a lining fabric which has a tendency to fray like crazy. It's the no.1 seam finish I use for linings. The frayage problem with lining fabrics and silky types makes them less conducive to using a method where they lie flat, but I have used the zigzag stitch with good luck in these instances, so give it a try and see what you think. Best of luck Shannon!

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  13. Isn't it the best? I'm pretty fond of that one myself. I get solid colored fabrics mixed up all the time and this is a serious lifesaver!

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  14. Oh yes! Next week I'll show some insides of garments and the zipper areas too!

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  15. When I do my French seams, I prefer to avoid trimming, since I can never cut a perfectly straight line in the circumstances. So rather than stitch at 1/4" then trim to 1/8", I'd stitch at 1/8" to begin with. (Of course, this only works if your final stitching line ends up in the right place - e.g. if you make your pattern piece smaller all around from the outset.)

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  16. Thanks, Sunni. The zigzag and overlocking stitches weren't working, so I did the simulated French stitch, but attached it to the fabric like the felled stitch. It worked out perfectly and looks great. Thanks!

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  17. thank you so much for this series on seam finishes. i just finished sorbetto last night with french seams, and i'm just so in love with it! the inside looks as polished as the outside - which make me want to wear it inside out! ha!

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  18. Congratulations! How awesome - and I'll bet that your Sorbetto looks lovely! Off to check it out!

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