This Article is About
seam gauge
french seam
seam allowance
lightweight fabrics
home sewing
darts
variations
Basting Plain Seams
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For a beginner the easiest seam to learn is the plain seam. It is simple, flat and versatile. Plain seams are quick to sew and suitable for almost any garment and fabric type, but not all. It is also the beginning of many other seams. The plain seam is also very easy to alter because it is so simple.

Before sewing your seams you may want to consider basting your fabric together. This will keep the pieces of fabric form sliding away from each other and will give you a more even result. When using a plain seam in home sewing use the cut end as a guide to where to place your seam allowance. On your machine there is a seam gauge that has several measurements on it. For an accurately measured seam all you need to do is simply keep the cut edge at the measurement while you sew.

Even though the plain seam is suitable for most fabric type because it is very inconspicuous and doesn’t add a lot of bulk there are a few fabrics that it isn’t right for. These fabrics include very lightweight fabrics and transparent fabrics. With lightweight and transparent fabrics you need to have a smaller more finished seam. For lightweight or transparent fabrics you need more secure seams that resist fraying because these fabrics are delicate. There are some variations on the plain seam that would work better on lightweight or transparent fabrics. (These include the French seam, the self-bound seam, and the whipped seam.)

To baste a plain seam you will line the match points on your cut fabric together. Measure and mark your seam allowance. Pin your pieces together. Set your machine to the largest stitch and thread your machine. Baste your pieces along your mark line. If you want to keep your seams accurate carefully check as you sew to ensure that you're basting accurately on both sides of your fabric.

Some areas of your garment’s seams may intersect with darts or other seams. Be sure to avoid catching these details. When you’re in the process of basting seams and darts you want to begin the seam at the dart or other seam. This will help you when you are fitting the garment to get a more accurate result.

When you have basted the seam press it closed. Press lightly. Don’t press a seam open until you have made all the changes you intend to make to the seam. When you press a seam open you will have a permanent indentation that and you will have a higher quality result if you wait to press the seam open until you have it finished.


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