The most basic sewing step, most of the sewing done on many projects.
Actually there are 3 processes in making a good seam :
– sew the seam,
– finish the seam allowances if need be,
– press.

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Sewing an open seam

Here’s a good video tutorial about the simplest basics, from

Here’s another good video, from Threads magazine, on basic seams. This includes more about seams in general – what a seam looks like on the pattern and in a garment.

There are also links to good tutorials on sewing simple seams in my post about using a sewing machine.

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There are two more steps after sewing a seam, to get a quality result.

Finish the seam allowances

On most fabrics, you need to follow up sewing the seam by finishing the seam allowances. This isn’t just for neatness, it’s important to stop the fabric from fraying.

Many people are so determined to avoid spending time on this step that they only sew non-fray fabrics like fleece !

It’s quick to do the finishing using a serger/overlocker, but many people haven’t got one or don’t like using them.
And it’s perfectly possible, though usually much slower, to do your seam finishing using a basic sewing machine.

Here’s my post on getting a better zigzag seam finish.


The final process, for a high quality result, is to press the seam.
Here’s my post on pressing an open seam.

It’s easy to think that making garments just involves sewing pieces of fabric together. But many other processes are needed to get a good result.

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Links available January 2014

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