Seams for Sesing

Throughout the instructions on this web site we have used a variety of seams. Seams are a way of joining fabric together and the more commonly used are illustrated below.


Flat Seam

A simple way of joining 2 pieces of fabric together with a single row of stitches.
•    Place the fabric pieces, right sides together, matching the raw edges.
•    Pin, tack, and stitch, 0.5″ (12 mm) in from the raw edges.
•    Work a few stitches in reverse at each end to secure.
•    Press the seam allowance open.

French Seam

A self neatening seam that is usually used to join sheer fabrics where no stitches show on the right side.
•    With wrong sides together, edges matching, tack and stitch the fabric, taking a 0.25″ (6 mm) seam allowance.
•    Trim the seam allowance to half its size.
•    Refold the fabric with right sides together, to enclose the raw edges.
•    Pin and stitch a second seam just big enough to cover the raw edges.

seam1 seam2


Gathering is used to add frills. A frill before it is gathered needs to be at least 1.5 times it’s finished length, but making it twice as long gives a much better effect.
When gathering on a sewing machine, use a heavy-duty thread on the bobbin for extra strength and loosen the upper tension slightly.

•     Work 2 rows of stitches, 0.25″ (6 mm) either side of the seam line and knot the threads at one end.
•    Gently pull the bobbin threads from one end feeding the fabric evenly down the gathers.
•    Wind the threads in a figure of eight round a pin at the side when the required length is achieved.
•    Instead of machine stitches a small running stitch can be used especially when a long length is to be gathered. It may take longer but there is less chance of the thread breaking.

seam4 seam5


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