Chapt 8 - Seams
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Table of Contents ] Chapt 1 - Fabric ] Chapt 2 - Tools and Equipment ] Chapt 3 - The Sewing Machine ] Chapt 4 - Patterns ] Chapt 5 - Pressing ] Chapt 6 - Marking The Fabric ] Chapt 7 - Preparing to Begin ] [ Chapt 8 - Seams ] Chapt 9 - Seam Finishes ] Chapt 10 - Stabilization ] Chapt 11 - Control of Fullness ] Chapt 12 - Finishing Edges ] Chapt 13 - Hand Sewing ] Chapt 14 - Closures ] Chapt 15 - Body Measurements ] Chapt 16 - Ease In Clothing ] Chapt 17 - Pattern Alterations ] Chapt 18 - Finished Dimensions ] Chapt 19 - Common Terms ] Chapt 20 - Common Costume Fabrics ] Index of Sewing Exercises ]

The seam is the basic building technique of the costume technician. It is the process of sewing two pieces of fabric together to create a larger piece of fabric with a new shape. The line on which the seaming is done is called the seam line.

The seam edge is the term used to describe the cut edge of the fabric of a garment piece.

The space between the seam edge and the seam line is the seam allowance. It is important to remember that the seam allowance is a variable, not a fixed, quantity. Seam allowances in a costume shop may vary from as little as 1/4" (5 mm) to 2" (50 mm) or more. Commercial patterns and most general sewing is done at a 5/8" (17 mm) seam allowance. It is very important for the costume technician to be sure of the seam allowance(s) for any project undertaken.

PLAIN SEAM

PLAIN SEAM - LAPPED APPLICATION

There are certain construction details for which the LAPPED APPLICATION of the plain seam is faster and/or produces better results. It is most useful is seaming yokes to pieces that have added fullness or for seaming pieces with angled corners.

PLAIN SEAM - LAPPED APPLICATION

FLAT FELL SEAM

The flat fell seam is a very durable seam that provides it's own seam finish. It is time consuming to produce and so it is used only in situations in which its strength and durability are worth the time it takes to produce. It is most often used in work and sport clothing. Most jeans have a variation of the flat fell seam call a welt seam. Men's shirts and pajamas are also garments in which the flat fell seam is used.

FLAT FELL SEAM

FRENCH SEAM

The French seam is another seam that is very durable and produces it's own seam finish. It is often used in clothing that is constructed from lightweight or sheer fabrics where both sides of the fabric may be visible. The French seam is time consuming to produce and so it is reserved for fabrics and garments that require its clean finished look. Chiffon, lace organdy, and metallic fabrics are often sewn with French seams, as are drapes and many other household linens.

FRENCH SEAM

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