Seams are an essential element in any kind of sewing, whether done by hand or using sewing machines. Whenever two pieces of fabric are sewn together, a seam is created - and there are countless ways to finish a seam to make it stronger or more attractive. Anyone who sews using standard Juki sewing machines, a Juki MO644D serger, or any multi-purpose sewing machine should know some of the ways to finish a seam. With professionally finished seams, sewing projects will always look their best.
Common Seaming Methods
Everyone who learns how to use sewing machines invariably learns a few methods on how to seam fabric. The more common techniques used are the most basic methods of stitching that can be done by using almost any sewing machine and include these stitches:
Stitches such as these can be programmed into computerized sewing machines, including many of the Juki sewing machines available today. This type of stitching requires little more than using the right presser foot to feed the fabric appropriately to wind up with the proper seam.
Advanced and Decorative Seaming Methods
Beyond the five types of stitches mentioned above, there are other, more decorative and finished seams that can be used to make professional-looking garments, all of which can be sewn on basic sewing machines. While some people may turn to machines like the Juki M0644D serger for fancier seams, the following advanced seams can be created with simple straight stitching and a little know-how.
- French Seam - French seams are professional quality seams that start off like any other seam, then go on to attach the seam allowance to the inside of the fabric. The end result is a seam that looks completely finished on both the inside and outside of the fabric. This leaves no bare edges and no threads extending from the seam to eventually unravel. This is an especially good seam to use on fine fabrics or those prone to unraveling, which could weaken the seams. There is also a mock French seam, which achieves almost the same result but uses a slightly different technique.
- French Wrapped Seam - The wrapped French seam starts out the same as the standard French seam except that the cut edges of the seam are finished differently. By using a zigzag stitch or hand overcast stitching, the cut seam ends are sewn over or “wrapped” more securely, binding the edges. This version of the French seam lays a bit more flat than the standard French seam and is more suited to fabrics that are not as susceptible to unraveling or loose threads.
- Bound Seams - Bound seams, including the Hong Kong seam, are a seaming method that involves wrapping the seam in a strip of bias cut fabric or bias tape so that all seam stitching is completely hidden when completed. This is a beautiful, more advanced seaming technique that requires a great deal of accuracy. It involves sewing over the seam from the underside so that when unfolded, all that is visible inside the garment is the bias tape. The main difference between standard bound seams and the Hong Kong seam is that the Hong Kong seam is less bulky. This method requires a single fold bias strip rather than a double-fold strip for a standard bound seam.
As anyone who sews with Juki sewing machines knows, professionally sewn seams really make a difference. Not only do home sewn garments look like they came right out of the department store, they are more durable as well. Some sewers might turn to a Juki M0644D serger or another serging machine; however, a serger is not really necessary. With a little bit of practice, these professional seams can be created by just using basic sewing machines!