If you’re a beginner then this is perfect for you as we are starting with the basics, how to construct plain seams and a variety of seam finishes.
How to do plain seams
Start by pinning the right sides of your fabric together along the raw edge. A top tip when pinning is to insert your pins at a 90° angle to the raw edge – this way you can leave the pins in while machine stitching over the top and it won’t break your needle.
Machine straight stitch along the raw edge where you’ve just pinned your fabric together. Sewing patterns will direct you to leave a specific seam allowance, normally 5/8s of an inch. If you need a little extra guidance to machining a straight line, it’s a good idea to measure and mark 5/8s on your machine with a piece of masking tape.
On the wrong side of your seam, press the seam allowance open with an iron. You can either leave the seam as it is or go on to neaten the raw edges with a seam finish.
If you’ve got a pair of pinking shears, the pinking finish is great for craft projects as it’s quick and easy and not too bulky. Simply snip away at the fabric to leave a pinked edge. This is an ideal technique for fabrics that don’t fray too easily.
Zig Zag Finish
This zig zag finish is used for most fabrics as it will stop fraying. Simply machine stitch a zig zag along the raw edge of the seam and then cut away any excess fabric so that the stitch is on the very edge. Alternatively, if you have an overlocker, you can easily overlock the raw edges in exactly the same way.
We’ve used a zig zag stitch width of 2.0 and a stitch length on 1.5. Before machining your fabric, it’s a good idea to alter your sewing machine stitch settings and then test them on some scrap – it’s a great idea to keep a small basket of off cuts to one side of my machine for this very purpose.