Sewing & Pattern making Terms


In the realm of sewing and garment construction, the seam is a fundamental element that brings fabric pieces together to form a cohesive whole. Seamstresses rely on the art of seam creation to join fabric sections, ensuring durability, strength and a polished finish. Understanding the concept of seams, their types, and appropriate techniques is essential for achieving professional-quality garments. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of seams, their importance, and various techniques to create flawless and sturdy connections.

Defining Seams: Exploring the Foundation of Garment Construction

Seams are the lines of stitching that join two or more fabric pieces together to create a unified whole. They provide structural integrity to garments, ensuring longevity and functionality.

Types of Seams

  1. Plain Seam: The plain seam is the most basic and common type of seam. It involves stitching the fabric pieces together with right sides facing, resulting in a neat and flat seam on the wrong side.
  2. French Seam: The French seam is a more refined seam suitable for lightweight and delicate fabrics. It encases the raw edges within the seam, creating a clean finish on both the right and wrong sides.
  3. Flat-Felled Seam: The flat-felled seam is a durable and robust seam commonly used in denim or heavy-duty fabrics. It involves sewing the fabric pieces together, encasing the raw edges and reinforcing the seam with additional stitching.
  4. Bound Seam: Bound seams provide a decorative and finished edge to garments. They involve enclosing the raw edges with bias tape or fabric strips, adding durability and a touch of elegance.

Techniques for Seam Construction

  • Pinning or Basting: Before stitching, it is crucial to align the fabric pieces accurately. Pinning or basting helps to secure the pieces in place, ensuring precise seam alignment.
  • Stitching: Stitch along the designated seam line, maintaining consistent stitch length and tension. Use appropriate stitches such as the straight stitch, zigzag stitch or specialized stitches for specific seam finishes.
  • Finishing: After sewing the seam, finish the raw edges to prevent fraying and create a clean appearance. Techniques include serging, zigzag stitching, pinking or using seam binding.

Seam Considerations

  • Seam Allowance: Seam allowance refers to the extra fabric width beyond the stitching line. It provides space for joining pieces, accommodating the thickness of seams, and making alterations if needed.
  • Pressing: Pressing plays a vital role in seam construction. It involves ironing the seam to set the stitches, flatten the fabric, and create a professional finish.


Seams are the backbone of garment construction, bringing fabric pieces together to form functional and aesthetically pleasing garments. By understanding the different types of seams and mastering the techniques involved in seam creation, you’ll be able to produce garments with strength, durability, and impeccable finishing.

Pay attention to seam allowances, practice precise stitching, and utilize appropriate seam finishes to achieve professional-quality results. Embrace the art of seam creation and elevate your sewing skills to new heights, crafting garments that are both beautiful and enduring.

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Melissa Villegas
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