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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Seam Finishing Techniques? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Seam Finishing Techniques?
Looking for some EXCELLENT books....
MacMorrighan
MacMorrighan
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Member since 12/22/12
Posts: 61
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Date: 12/28/12 2:37 PM

Hey guys, I'm an avid reader, so because observing a tutorial is not always enough for me to learn something depending upon the instruction that is verbally given. As an example, I just saw a vid. on YouTube talking about a French seam, and she thoroughly ended up confusing me! I was wondering if anyone could recommend any books that instruct one to use nearly every seam-finishing technique that there may be? One thing that I believe that such a book should take into account is seam allowances in seam finishing techniques. One thing about the French seem, as an example, that confused me was that it at least SEEMED to me that she ended up sewing well passed the seam allowance to secure the stitch which you'd them affect how the garment might fit....that was only one thing about the video and instruction that confused me.

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/28/12 7:36 PM

I think a lot of the "general" sewing books like the Vogue or the Reader's Digest have sections on seam finishes. Vintage books are often just as good as new ones, or even better in their instructions. I think Singer did a book series in the 80s that covered seam finishes, and one of the Threads collections might have covered it too. If you haven't checked out your local library's collection of sewing-related books, it might be worth doing. You could also check out the book reviews here. Sandra Betzina's 2-book set from recently might be useful, as well as Schaeffer's couture book.

I am like you, more of a reader, and I find static illustrations and/or writing easier to grok than a video, especially YouTube videos which aren't always the best shot or lit.

------
I've moved! Visit my new sewing blog at http://chiralcraft.wordpress.com

Do you sew from KnipMode? Join us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/knipmode_english/

Kippysan
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Kippysan
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<
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Date: 12/28/12 8:14 PM

Mac -

Go to Sew4home.com and type in "finishing seam allowances' in the Search box at the top of the screen. You will find an article that explains how to do a French seam.

This is a freebie site that has all kinds of well-written (with photos) explanations on sewing basics as well as free projects.

Kippy

MacMorrighan
MacMorrighan
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In reply to LauraTS <<


Date: 12/28/12 9:01 PM

Thanks LauraTS. If you should recall that series from the 80s, I'd love to look into it (I love to read!). Sadly, my local library has a severe lack of quality books. IIRC the only books they stock are children's books, romance novels, and biographies! But, I'll certainly check to see if anything's changed. It's a small town library, you see.

dscheidt

dscheidt
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In reply to MacMorrighan <<


Date: 12/29/12 0:05 AM

Quote: MacMorrighan
Thanks LauraTS. If you should recall that series from the 80s, I'd love to look into it (I love to read!). Sadly, my local library has a severe lack of quality books. IIRC the only books they stock are children's books, romance novels, and biographies! But, I'll certainly check to see if anything's changed. It's a small town library, you see.

If they don't have anything useful, see if they can get one ( I think the vintage vogue ones are quite good) via interlibrary loan. Something published before 1980 or so is likely to assume you don't have a serger, and so have more information on finishing seams.

You're right about a french seam: it's sewn twice, usually the second time with a large seam allowance, to make sure the first seam and the raw edges are fully enclosed. If you didn't plan for that, and just sewed, you'd end up with something smaller than expected. But you plan for that -- if the pattern calls for french seams, the drafter will have allowed for them, if it doesn't, you modify before you cut.
tlmck3
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tlmck3
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Date: 12/29/12 1:15 PM

Done correctly, with careful pressing, a French seam should not exceed the standard 5/8" seam allowance used in most big 4 patterns.
You should be able to use it on any straight seam.

You do the first line of stitching with wrong sides together at 3/8"
Trim to within 1/8" - 1/4"
Crease along the stitched seam then press.
With right sides together, stitch along the 5/8" seam line, enclosing the raw edges.

This is more or less straight from Vogue Sewing, published in 1985.

Any basic sewing book your library can get for you from interlibrary loan should have instructions for unserged seam finishes. Or look for inexpensive used books on Amazon.com. It really doesn't matter how old it is as long as it's not pre-sewing machine era--which you'd pay a pretty penny for, anyway.

Vogue, Vogue-Butterick, Singer, Reader's Digest, Better Homes and Gardens all published good basic sewing guides over the last 30 or so years. I have even older ones picked up at thrift shops which are just as servicable for basic sewing information.

------
I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine... Most of the pleasure is in getting that last little piece perfect...Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just keep showing up and doing the work.

Chuck Close, painter, printmaker, photographer

Hope has two lovely daughters: Anger and Courage

St. Augustine

SandiMacD
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SandiMacD  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/29/12 3:31 PM

If you can visit a B&N bookstore in a major city you can browse some comprehensive yet general sewing books- lots of photos and great instruction in some if them. Then you know which ones to put in your wish list and order.

------
sewing brings joy and meaning to my life...

mmr
mmr
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Date: 12/29/12 4:42 PM

There was a series of books published in the '80s called the Singer Sewing Reference Library. One of the books in that series is called Sewing Essentials. There is a good section in it (imo anyway) covering seams and seam finishes.

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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In reply to mmr <<


Date: 12/29/12 5:35 PM

Quote: mmr
There was a series of books published in the '80s called the Singer Sewing Reference Library. One of the books in that series is called Sewing Essentials. There is a good section in it (imo anyway) covering seams and seam finishes.

I believe that one has been reprinted. It's very good. You can also find used ones at the Goodwill, I've bought several for my dd there. My next favorite is Readers Digest. That one has 3 editions, I have the old one from the 70s and the current one.

------
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

MacMorrighan
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In reply to dscheidt <<
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Date: 12/29/12 7:36 PM

Dscheidt, as it should happen, I found the 1982 vers. of the Vogue Sewing book today at the Half Price Bookstore! I have looked for it a year or two ago when someone on FB had recommended it and regularly since to no avail. But it was there, today, just waiting for me! And, like you, I adore vintage sewing books when I can find them because they seem to well put together.

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