Thursday, September 23, 2010

enclosed seam tutorial

if you're like me, you break your serger on a regular basis.

um, no...let's try that again.

if you're like me, you realize that the difference (sometimes) between something that looks professional and something that screams "homemade" can be in how your seams are finished.

a serger is wonderful for this--professional-looking insides in a flash--sewn, bound, trimmed, done.

however, not all of us have sergers. and some of us routinely break sergers. {sheepish grin}

you can do a tight zig-zag stitch on all your seams, but i'm honestly not a huge fan of those. so i generally use an enclosed seam.
it's quick and easy, and only takes an extra minute or two. you do need a little bit of a larger seam allowance, or you need to be very careful inside your standard seam allowance. i find that many commercial patterns run big, so the little bit of extra i take in doing this only helps.

ready? here we go:

S.O.P. is to sew your pattern pieces RIGHT sides together. the first thing you do for an enclosed seam is to take your pattern pieces and sew them WRONG sides together with a narrow 1/4" seam. you are now halfway done. :o)

(told ya this was easy)


press your seam, and then look it over. any thready/hairy bits should be trimmed, as should any areas you went a bit wonky and maybe sewed a bit bigger than 1/4" (not that i would ever do that)

you're looking for a nice crisp edge.

now fold your fabric over RIGHT sides together, enclosing the seam you just sewed (thereby making the--TA-DA--enclosed seam!)

stitch this with about 1/2" seam allowance.


press this out and you're done!



a lovely enclosed seam. from the inside or outside of your garment there are no exposed raw edges.

this works wonderfully if you're making a reversable outfit. or, as another option, go back and top stitch your little flap down and you have a FRENCH seam. that adds a nice detail to clothing (or pillows, or sofas...)

in the example photos i was sewing a solid color band on the bottom of a skirt. this type of seam is stronger and gives it a little weight to help it lay nicely.

have fun!
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