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Message Board > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Neater seam finish for a seam with a pocket?? ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Neater seam finish for a seam with a pocket??
bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
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Date: 9/7/10 4:11 PM

Hello, I finished making a pair of cotton capri pants for my MIL. I borrowed a pocket template from another pattern to use so I could have inseam pockets for the pants.

I used french seams for the inseams.

For the outter leg seams that have the pockets, I just straight stitched, zigzagged both seam allowances together to "finish," and then pinked the edges. However, I do love the polished look of a french seam, and was wondering if there was a "cleaner" or "tidier" way to sew each pocket piece to the pant (used a 3/8" seam allowance) and/or to sew the entire pocket/leg seam (used a 5/8" seam allowance)

Could I have somehow used a french seam??? Advice and suggestions welcome!

Along a similar line of thought, I'm wondering if there is a more polished way to finish a seam for a skirt that has a zipper and seam below the zipper. Do any of y'all use seam tape along each seam allowance (which I've heard is like bias tape but I've never seen at the store)?

TIA,
Bethie

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LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/7/10 4:57 PM

I'm working on a pocketed skirt right now and trying to decide how I'm going to finish the seams - I'm leaning toward Hong Kong binding with bias tape. Some kind of seam binding or zigzag as you've done works well, or you could do a reverse flat fell seam on the outseam, after you've put the pocket in and clipped the seam allowances.

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Nancy K
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In reply to bookwormbethie


Date: 9/7/10 6:18 PM

French seams are traditionally used on light weight fabric and on straight seams. If you look at the pocket bag of many bluejeans you will see a finish that is like a French seam, but this finish is rarely used on regular pants. You want the least amount of bulk. My choice for a neat, elegant finish on pockets and seams would be a Hong Kong finish. This is a very easy finish to sew and because it is done with a bias strip it will easily follow a curve. Cut strips about 1" or so wide. Raw edges even sew raw edges of seams in a 1/4" seam, fold over the raw edge and stitch in the ditch to hold the strip in place. Seams are pressed open the raw edge will not ravel because it is on the bias If you use premade bias, you have to press it open, it is not just wrapped around the seam as this would be too thick. The other option of course is to buy yourself a serger. This gives you the look of rtw and even high end uses overlock finishes.

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Yakityak
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Yakityak
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Date: 9/7/10 10:28 PM

Just for completeness sake there's the "mock french seam" where you sew the seam first, fold and press the seam allowances so that the raw edges are sandwiched and edgestitch them together. I've used that a few times. But I like Nancy's suggestions better.

Bound seams are very pretty. I used this technique on a jacket recently. It's nice to do them on a garment that will habitually have its innards seen, like a jacket draped over a chair. (One doesn't usually display the interior of pants seams in public, unless it happens to be my 4 year old son.)

Yak

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Nancy K
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In reply to Yakityak


Date: 9/8/10 8:03 AM

I used the Hong Kong technique for a pair of silk shantung pants that I underlined with silk organza. I didn't want to also add a lining so I bound the edges. It was gorgeous even if only I was aware of it.

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MNBarb
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MNBarb  Friend of PR
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Date: 9/8/10 8:38 AM

I just tried a product called Seams Great that was recommended in a book. It would work when you don't want to add any bulk and when french seams aren't possible. I agree that Hong Kong finishes are nice but this stuff was easy and VERY thin.

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Barb
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bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
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In reply to LauraTS


Date: 9/8/10 1:04 PM

Quote: LauraTS
I'm working on a pocketed skirt right now and trying to decide how I'm going to finish the seams - I'm leaning toward Hong Kong binding with bias tape. Some kind of seam binding or zigzag as you've done works well, or you could do a reverse flat fell seam on the outseam, after you've put the pocket in and clipped the seam allowances.

Oh I wish I thought to do a flat fell seam on the outer pant leg, that would have been so nice!!!

I used double fold bias tape once to finish some raw seam edges inside a shirt, and it worked quite well, but I felt the bias tape was a bit bulky.....

I have yet to see "seam binding" at JoAnns. I've heard seam binding is a bit thiner than bias tape and would really like to try this product. Does anyone know where it can be bought in person or online?

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bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
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In reply to Nancy K


Date: 9/8/10 1:08 PM

The french seams I've used so far were on a pant inseam and on 2 loose fit hawaiian shirts. the french seams did not seem to add any bulk to the finished cotton garments.

thanks for the tip about the hong kong finish.... I think I have sorta done that, although I believe the hong kong finish is done separately to each side of the seam allowance, yes? I finished some seams inside a hawaiian shirt with double fold bias tape and it was lovely but it was a little bulky, it didn't affect the drape of the shirt or how it fit, but the seam was a bit thick.....

no plans in the near future for a serger as hubby recently gifted me a most lovely new janome sewing machine.

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bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
Intermediate
GA
Member since 6/6/10
Posts: 134
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In reply to Yakityak


Date: 9/8/10 1:09 PM

Quote: Yakityak
Just for completeness sake there's the "mock french seam" where you sew the seam first, fold and press the seam allowances so that the raw edges are sandwiched and edgestitch them together. I've used that a few times. But I like Nancy's suggestions better.



Bound seams are very pretty. I used this technique on a jacket recently. It's nice to do them on a garment that will habitually have its innards seen, like a jacket draped over a chair. (One doesn't usually display the interior of pants seams in public, unless it happens to be my 4 year old son.)



Yak

yup, i thought of that of course right after i finished sewing up the pants.

LOL about your 4 year old son!

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bookwormbethie
bookwormbethie
Intermediate
GA
Member since 6/6/10
Posts: 134
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In reply to MNBarb


Date: 9/8/10 1:11 PM

Quote: MNBarb
I just tried a product called Seams Great that was recommended in a book. It would work when you don't want to add any bulk and when french seams aren't possible. I agree that Hong Kong finishes are nice but this stuff was easy and VERY thin.

thank you for that product name! i just looked it up online and i bet i've been looking for that product, or a similar one, in the wrong part of the joann's store!

the instructions on the website say NOT to iron in, can the finished garment go in the dryer safely???

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