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How to sew a plain seam

How to sew a plain seam - Vanessa Arbuthnott - Sewing advice - free sewing patterns - Craft -

This is the most commonly used seam for joining fabric, and no stitching is visible from the right side. Where no seam allowance is specified, 1.5cm is standard.

Scroll down for full instructions and diagrams.

1. Place the two fabric pieces with right sides together and raw edges even. Pin along the seam line or at right angles to it. On a curved seam or on bulky fabric, the pins will need to be closer together than on a straight seam or thin fabric. If the seam is tricky or you are a beginner, hand-tack close to the seam line and remove the pins.

2. Machine-stitch along the seam line, using the stitching guide on the machine to make sure the seam is exactly the right width and doesn’t wobble. If you haven’t tacked the seam, remove the pins as you come to them unless your machine can stitch over pins. Sew a few reverse stitches at the start and finish of the seam to secure the threads.

3. To sew around a corner, stop stitching when you reach the seam line of the adjacent edge (ie, the width of the seam allowance from the end). With the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and turn the fabric until the new edge is in line with the machine stitching guide. Lower the presser foot and continue stitching.

4. Remove any remaining pins or tacking if used. With a steam iron, press open the seam allowances (or press them to one side, if directed in the project).


These instructions are taken from 'The Home-sewn Home' by Vanessa Arbuthnott with Gail Abbott (Cico Books, £16.99).  

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