seams

How To Sew The Perfect Seam

Seams are the basic construction elements that hold the fabric pieces together. Most often, you wills sew a straight-stitch seam with a stitch length of 8 to 12 stitches per inch (2.5cm). If the fabric is heavy, set the machine for a longer stitch length – 6 to 10 stitches per inch (2.5cm)
If the fabric is lightweight, set the stitch length to a shorter length – about 12 to 14 stitches per inch (2.5cm). The seam allowance is 5/6″ (1.6cm) unless otherwise noted on the pattern tissue and instruction sheet.

Test the stitch on a scrap piece of fabric before you begin sewing. You may need to adjust the presser-foot pressure and the stitch tension if you are sewing different fabric thicknesses. If the stitches look too tight, loose,or uneven, rethread the machine. Nine times out of ten rethreading your machine will fix the problem.

  1. Pin the fabric layers with the right sides together (unless otherwise noted) and raw edges even. Insert pins perpendicular to the edge about every 2″ (5.1cm), with all the heads facing the same direction so you can remove them easily as you come to them.
  2. Lift the presser foot and raise the needle to its highest position by turning the handwheel toward you.
  3. Position the fabric under the presser foot so cut the edges align with the 5/8″ (1.6cm) seam allowance marking on the throat plate and the top edges are slightly behind the presser foot.
  4. Lower the presser foot. Adjust the machine setting to stitch in reverse. Backstitch to the top edges of the fabric, holding the thread tails for the first few stitches.
  5. Change the machine setting to stitch forward. Stitch over the backstitches and continue stitching to the end of the seam.
  6. Backstitch again for about 1/2″ (1.3cm). Raise the presser foot and pull the fabric out from under it. If the bobbin thread does not release easily, turn the handwheel toward you slightly. Clip the threads close to the stitching.
Tip: To avoid tangles, hold the bobbin and top thread to the back or side until you take the first few stitches.