What Is A Seam? How To Use Different Types Of Seams For Sewing?

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A seam can be determined by the place it takes on the garment. Read all about types of seams here & know which one to use for sewing.

What Is A Seam? How To Use It For Sewing Garments?

A seam is the basic building block of any garment. They can be found on all sorts of clothing, and help to create a strong structure for your final product by sewing two pieces together into one piece with style statement potential! 

Once you know what seams look like in this context, then other types will make more sense as well- think about how many things rely upon them: even our favorite jeans have countless narrow strips running down their length that are ultimately held up by heavy-duty stitching here at its most foundational level (though we might not always see them).

The seam line can be seen as a stitching pattern that goes all along the edge. The SA is where there may be some extra room for changes in size or aesthetic purposes, but it should otherwise follow these guidelines: straight lines with 1″ of allowance at each end stitch right up next to your fabric’s natural edges (though not so close you see unfinished raw ends).

Checking out our post about seams will give more clarity on what type we’re talking about here- common ones like under/overlock, etc., plus why those particular allowances might seem necessary when sewing them!

Things To Consider When Deciding Which Seam To Use

Seams can be one of the most overlooked details in sewing.

They shouldn’t just be done for decorative purposes, but rather it’s important that seams are carefully planned out and executed so as to have a beautifully finished garment with suit your needs – whether those needs be flat-felled or zigzag stitched edges on the pants side seams; something else entirely!

1. Type Of Fabric

The fabric is a top consideration. If it has sheer or heavyweight Brocade cloth, your seam finish might be very different from what you get with lighter fabrics such as cotton and lace; there are also many other considerations depending on which kind of material the garment will come into contact with (e.: Lace vs Denim). 

2. Seam Placement 

A curved seam will be treated differently from a straight one. If it’s an exposed edge on pants, then you want to make sure that the seams are different for enclosed garments like yokes and collars where they’re not seen as much of themself but rather what goes inside (shirt or jacket).

3. Sewing Machine 

How powerful is your sewing machine? What kind of attachments do you have, and how much space does it take up on the floor or tabletop for storage purposes when not in use? 

An extra bonus would be a serger or zig-zag function because that will give even more possibilities than just straight stitching can offer!

4. Garment’s Purpose And Use

A child’s dress will need a more sturdy seam than a camisole top. It is unfortunate that wedding gowns are not made with the same quality as biker’s gear, so they do suffer from various flaws like coming apart at the seams.

Types of Seams

Knowing the different types of seams is important for a variety of reasons. There are easy ones, moderate ones, and more difficult styles that you should know about if sewing clothes or making your own creations from scratch! 

Once again knowing which type suits what material helps out quite a bit when selecting them because it will determine where those pieces go in relation to other fabrics used on garments- plain vs decorative; closed topstitching instead of open stitching etc. 

It’s also wise to keep up some kind folder so as time goes by all these new ideas can get organized easily without taking up too much room at home 🙂

Types of seams

1. Plain Seam

A plain seam can be used for literally any type of garment or item. The only requirement for this kind of stitching job is that you need your fabric right sides out when making the finished product and one line with at least a single stitch line connecting two pieces together; anything else would just get in the way!

A simple example might look something like this: an inside leg on pants where there are no other decorations, so long as they meet flat across their widest width point (and then closing up), should have these types – though not necessarily all-out matching ones!–of finishes applied before installation.

2. Plain Seam With A Single Stitch

Topstitching is a strong seam as well as decorative. It’s used to give the appearance that two pieces meet at an angle, like in this case where you want topstitching on both sides of your garment before finishing it off with regular seams or zippers

1) After completing all raw edges and pressing them down so they are flush against each other (to prevent raveling), take one side piece according to its patterned direction per marking instructions  

2). Next bring up opposite Sides from the previous steps making sure not to sew over the marked line 

3) Machine Stitch along the entire length until reaching the beginning overlapping point 

4). Repeat the same process

3. Plain Seam With Double Top Stitch

Double topstitching a decorative seam to provide strength and beauty. 

This technique requires the seams allowances of two pieces of fabric – one with a plain stitching line or outline, then another decorated on both sides at equal distances from each other before being sewn together in order for it to show through as decoration only not structural support like straight stitch would do otherwise!

4. Hairline Seam

The invisible stitch is a type of enclosed seam that can be used in many different areas, such as collars. The seam allowances are not visible from the outside and get stitched together so they will never show on your final garment or accessory piece.

For this technique, you need to make sure that both fabrics have the right sides out before sewing them with very tight straight stitches about an inch apart vertically along one long edge where there isn’t any stretch (or extra allowance). 

You also want to clip off all but 1/4 inches at either end – making it look more like regular machine stitching when finished- unless topstitching instead!  

5. French Seam

A French seam is an excellent choice for delicate fabrics like chiffon or organza, as it uses up less material and doesn’t get bulky with heavier fabric. 

For garments where the seams need to be hidden from view but should still show along their edges (like unlined jackets), this technique works well since you won’t see these folded corners when looking at your finished work of art!

6. Counter Seams

The counter seam is a strong three-layered sewn through the middle. The left side has one layer turned under while on top there are two layers that have been folded over to create this locked-in design and then edge stitched together for extra strength.

7. Decorative Seams

Decorative topstitching, in a contrasting color, adds interesting variations to any seam. A plain or welt stitched garment will usually have some form of decorative stitching applied for interest’s sake.

8. Bound Seams

Bound seams can be very decorative if a contrasting binding is used. They add an interesting element to jackets that are not lined, especially when the contrast of materials makes them stand out even more!

9. Piped Seams

Pipes add a bit of elegance and style to any seam. Piping also helps create the tailored finish you want in your clothing, whether it’s for yokes or pockets!

10. Slot Seams

Slot seams are a fun way to add some flair and creativity to your designs. They’re also perfect for adding color, contrast, or structure to sporting gear such as tracksuits!

11. Faced Seams

The neckline and armhole seams of clothing can also be referred to as facing. It’s a common part in the garment that might need some stitching, maybe interfacing is needed for stiffness too. Learn all about how they’re put together!”

12. Flat-felled Seams

Flat-felled seams are a great way to keep your pants from fraying. It covers up any raw edges and keeps everything flat, just like the French seam!

13. Welt Seams

A welt seam is also a popular choice for jeans, as it can be very strong and the raw edge provides an interesting design feature. 

However, due to its lack of enclosed edges like those found on flat-fell seams that are often used in sewing apparel such as denim pants or jackets; this type of stitching may show some wear faster than other more traditional methods do overtime when compared side by side with them.

14. Graded Seams

The seams on your favorite shirt are a bit too taut, making them look bad and restricting movement in the garment. 

With grading, you can cut back these allowances so they don’t show as much when pressed against other fabric layers or bulky items like thick winter sweaters. 

This technique is also useful if there’s an intersection between two sections of material such as sleeves for example – cutting just 1/8″ smaller than all newly exposed underarms areas helps hide any stitching lines while not reducing their rigidity below standards!

15. Handstitched Seams

Hand-stitched seams can be a useful alternative for the sewing novice. It’s simple to learn, and all you need are some thread and a needle! 

The most common hand stitches used in this fashion would have to do with running stitch (the easiest) or backstitch – both of which only involve an up/down motion on your part before securing it off by going over those same stitching lines again from below thus strengthening said seam considerably as smaller stitches produce more durable products than larger ones.

16. Lapped Seams

Lapping seams is a great way to join fabrics without adding bulky seam finishes. It can be used for materials that don’t fray, like felt and leather; but it’s especially useful when sewing vinyl or other kinds of tough fabric because you’ll avoid having edges enclosed within the finishing process entirely!

17. Taped Seams

This refers to any seam-sealed with tape for waterproofing/weatherproofing. In this seam, the fabric or tape is sewn together and prevents water from getting into your item’s inside!

18. Strap Seams

In this seam, an extra strip of fabric is attached on top of the seam line. The fabric strip should first be pressed inward, then stitched so it conceals any visible stitching and covers up any raw edges with its trim obligations for a professional finish!

19. Serged Seams

Serged seams are a type of reinforcement that joins two edges together. The serrated edge prevents fraying, while the neat and tidy finish makes it easy to work with – you can even do your own finishing!

Serged Seams are  Stronger Than You Think.


A seamstress has many different options to consider when making a garment. It is very important that they are aware of what type and style of finishes will work best for their customers, especially because patterns do not always give recommendations about which seams should be used in certain situations! 

By trying out the various types of garments themselves one can develop an understanding of how these individual styles interact with other pieces within clothing designs-a skill essential when working as both a designer or tailor.


Robert Patricia

Robert Patricia is a data analytic and content creator. He has worked extensively with large data sets to glean insights for both public and private sector clients. He has used this knowledge to create compelling content for brands across the internet. Albert also enjoys creating content for websites and social media. He is an expert at creating catchy headlines and understands how to capture the attention of readers.

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