Lesson 1 Learn How to Sew Basic Handmade Seams


Seams are the most important part in the sewing process. They are needed to hold parts together and to process a cut or an edge of the fabric. Seams differ in type, length and purpose.

Some seams are meant for thin elastic materials, others are just fancy stitches. Seams can be made in two ways: by hand or by a sewing-machine. Every seam consists of stitches, repeating throughout the very seam length. A stitch is a result of thread weaving: the thread is passed through the tissue with the help of a needle.


In this article. we'll study basic handmade seams and their purposes.

A basting stitch

or `a straight stitch-a needle forward`is used to tighten the details of work temporary. Binding the details in such a way allows to stitch, iron and try on the handiwork. It can be easily removed after the fabric is ready. The stitch length varies from 1/4 cm to 1 1/4”.

plain seam A plain seam

is used to connect parts. You need to insert the needle into the tissue and get it out on the front side through a distance equal to 2 stitches, then insert the needle into the last hole made with a needle.

Thus, the front side turns having a neat straight seam, in which one stitch gets out of another. The stitch length is 1/8-1/4”.

Running stitches

A plain seam

can be made in another way if to use two needles. Perform a basting stitch with both needles simultaneously, inserting the second thread into the stitches of the previous thread so that front and back stitches are out of one another. This seam is convenient to use in tight, thick tissues or skin.

Running stitches

Running stitchesare made in the same way as plain ones, the difference is that the needle is inserted into the tissue and taken out at a distance of 3 stitches, after that the needle from the front is inserted into the middle between the previous stitch and thread's out position.

Rolled whipped seams.

Rolled whipped seamsYou will need this seam to make a beautiful and lasting end of frills, flounces, ruches. Wrap the edge of the detail from the back with the cut inside, and you will have a narrow roller. Stitch the thread as if you're whipping it around the roller.

Overcast seams

Overcast seamsare needed to prevent destruction and spreading edges of the fabric. There are three types of overcast seams: diagonal basting, cross, and button-hole.

In order to overcast cuts bydiagonal bastingseamsit is necessary to insert the needle round the cut from right to left. The length of the stitch ranges from 1/8” to ¼”. A 2/5” seam should contain 2-3 stitches.

Crossed overcast seams

Crossed overcast seamsare made in two stages: first, the edge is processed from right to left as in the previous version, second, the work is pulled around and a diagonal basting seam is repeated once more.

A button-hole overcast seam

A button-hole overcast seamis made from left to right, the needle is inserted into the tissue from the top down, with the thread all the time under the needle.

Hemming seams

Hemming seamsThe edges of fabric should always be sewn, so hemming seams are used for this. There are 3 variations of hemming seams.

Simple hemming seams

Simple hemming seamsare made as follows: the edge of the item is bound inside from the back. The thread is fixed inside the bind, then the needle is inserted into the base tissue right below the fixed thread at the bind from right to left, then a few threads are caught and stitched. Then you may catch a few threads at the bind and sew them too, having stepped back from the previous stitch. There are 2-3 stitches in 2/5”.

A blind hemmingis needed to make threads of both front and back of the item almost invisible. You will definitely need thin threads of the same color with the fabric. You can also use strings stretched from the tissue itself. The edge is bound so that the cut is inside. The thread is fixed in the bind. Pierce the bind from the inside out, then pick up 2-3 threads in the same place of the base tissue, then set the needle back for a stitch length under the bind and pierce it from the inside out.

Cross hemmingseams

Cross hemming seamsare used for decorative purposes. You may get this stitch if you make a left to right slanting stitch and pick several threads up, first at the bind and then on the base tissue. The work is pulled around then, and the seam is made from the beginning to the end to get a row of crosses.

Fancy stitches such as buttonhole, creed and herringbone ornaments are widely used for goods.

Lesson 2. 10 Main Types of Machine Seams