What is a seam

10 machine seams

by Jasmin Clausen,

(Image: © CATWALKPIX.COM)

Techniques for joining seams, serging seams and decorative seams

Techniques for joining, serging and decorative seams that not only create a connection but also give a garment that certain something. Seams that every fashion designer has definitely seen and most likely sewn with a sewing machine. The most common variants in everyday atelier are: quilted, lintel and hem seams. The article shows a practical overview for trainers and trainees with 10 different seams that have to be sewn with the sewing machine, where they are used and what else has to be observed.

A contribution from the Rundschau for international women's fashion 03.2019

Lintel seam

Seam type: Serging seam

Application: The lintel seam is used to clean fabric edges, for example on pocket openings, neck and armhole cutouts, hems or pockets. Seam allowances: Depending on the garment 1 - 2 cm.

Processing: Stitch the pieces of fabric right sides together at a distance of 1 cm from the cut edge. Iron the entire seam allowance in the direction of the fabric side that will later be on the inside. From the right on the seam allowance, stitch the fabric back through all layers 1 - 2 mm away from the seam. Place the fabric inside out and iron over the edge of the fabric so that the seam is on the inside and the edge is in the fold.

 

Quilted seam

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: The quilting seam is the most common seam used to connect two pieces of fabric. They can be found on almost any type of clothing.

Seam allowance: Depending on the garment 1 - 2 cm.

Processing: Neaten the edges of the fabric. Stitch the pieces of fabric right sides together at a distance of 1 cm from the cut edge. Then iron apart until smooth.

 

Double stitched seam

 

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: The double stitched seam is often used as an ornament on hats, trousers, shirts or jackets. However, it also gives the seam stability.

Seam allowance: Depending on the garment 1 - 2 cm. Processing: Neaten the fabric edges. Stitch the pieces of fabric right sides together at a distance of 1 cm from the cut edge. Then iron apart until smooth. Topstitch from the right at the desired distance of 1 - 2 mm to the sewn seam. Iron well dry so that there are no waves.

Real fell seam

 

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: The real fell seam is a very robust seam. It can be found mainly on jeans, jackets or sportswear. Seam allowance: 1 cm

Processing: Iron one seam allowance of the fabric edges inside out, the other 1 cm inside out. Place both pieces of fabric on the edge so that the seam allowances interlock and the edges of the fabric are no longer visible. Stitch on the seam allowance from the right or left narrow-edged to the break edge.

 

Right-left seam

Seam type: Connection seam, serging seam

Application: The right-left seam works well for unlined clothing or bags. It makes the open fabric edge disappear and is therefore a very neat serging seam.

Seam allowance: Depending on the garment, 1.5 - 2 cm. Processing: Stitch the left to left fabric parts at a distance of half the “seam allowance” that will later be visible to the cut edge, here 0.5 cm distance. Iron the seam flat and lay the fabric right sides together so that the seam is on the edge. Then stitch twice as much, here 1 cm from the seam edge. Iron the seam smooth.

 

Wrong felled seam

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: Like the real felled seam, the wrong one is a very robust seam. It differs in processing.

Seam allowance: 1 - 1.5 cm processing: stitch the fabric right sides together depending on the allowance, here 1.5 cm away from the fabric edge and then serge it together. Iron the seam allowance in the desired direction. Topstitch the seam allowance from the right or left at the desired distance from one another.

 

Hem seam

Seam type: Serging seam

Application: The hem seam is a popular way of overcasting sleeve and hem ends, for example on dresses, skirts, trousers or shirts. But this type of seam is also suitable for home textiles such as tablecloths. Seam allowance: Depending on the garment, 1.5 - 6 cm or more.

Processing: Iron the fabric on the finished hem edge on the wrong side in break. Fold in the seam allowance up to the inner breaking edge and stitch the hem onto the seam allowance with a narrow edge.

 

Piping seam

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: The piping seam is an ornamental and connecting seam in one, with the ornament in the foreground. To be seen on the sleeve and hem edges or on the dividing seams. The welt seam is also often used on home textiles such as duvets and pillows or on accessories such as hats.

Seam allowance: 3 - 4 cm or more, depending on the thickness of the cord. Processing: Cut a diagonal strip that includes the circumference of the cord and the seam allowance. Place the diagonal strip tightly around the cord with the wrong side of the fabric and baste it for the time being. Neaten the edges of the fabric. Place the piping created here between two pieces of fabric lying right sides together, so that all seam allowances are on top of each other edge to edge. Stitch all layers of fabric together with a narrow foot along the edge of the piping. Iron the seam allowances either in one direction or apart.

 

Puckered seam

Seam type: Connection seam, decorative seam

Application: The crimped seam is an ornamental and connecting seam in one, with the ornament in the foreground. This seam can be seen on skirts, pants, blouses, dresses, lingerie or accessories.

Seam allowance: Depending on the garment 1 - 2 cm. Processing: Neaten the fabric edges. On the piece of fabric, stitch along the edge of the fabric with a long stitch length and leave the ends of the thread hanging down. Pull one thread at a time to create the desired crimp and line it up. Then place the fabric right sides together on the other piece of fabric and stitch both fabrics together at a distance of (here) 1 cm from the edge. Remove the basting thread and iron the seam.

 

Pintuck seam

Seam type: Decorative stitching

Application: The piping seam is exclusively a decorative seam. This seam can often be seen on blouses, dresses, skirts or accessories such as hats or gloves. Seam allowance: depending on the desired tuck width 0.75 - 2 cm.

Processing: Place the fabric inside out in the desired place or iron lightly into pieces. Stitch the fabric at the desired distance from the fold, here 0.5 cm. Iron the piping in the desired direction.