Dress making is the art of cutting and sewing flat fabrics to suit a three dimen-sional human figure. The joining of the cut fabrics is known as seams. The sewing can be made for two pieces or more than two pieces together. Seams can be hand or machine made. To give a neat and wrinkle free dress, seams must be flat as possible and evenly spread. Depending upon the type of dress and material stitched seams vary. The durability of the garment also depends upon the seams.
The main factors affecting seams selection are:
· Thickness of the fabric
· Design and type of dress
· Use of the dress
· Place where the seam appears
· The age and sex of the wear
Types of Seams
There are different types of seams. The most common five types of seams are
· Plain seam
· Run and fell seam
· French seam
· Mantua maker seamx
· Piped seam
Plain seam is the most important and sim-ple seam that can be used for all type of dresses. Plain seams are easy to stitch. The main advantage of this seam is it requires very little time to sew, pliable and incon-spicuous. This seam can be used to stitch all types of fabric expect very light, trans-parent fabric or fabrics which tend to ravel off. This seam is commonly used on arm-holes, side seams of blouses, frocks and skirts (Figure 12.1)
· Take the two pieces of fabric which has to be joined together and place them facing right sides
· Check if the cut lines match
· Pin along the seam lines
· Tack along the seam line, remove pins
· Hand stitch or machine on the seam line
· Remove tacking, press open
Run and fell seam is commonly known as flat felt seam. As the name indicates it is very flat. It can be stitched using hand stitches or machine. The main advantage of this seam is its strength and durability. The disadvantage is time consuming and not suitable for curved edges and bulky fabrics. This seam is common on chil-dren’s dresses, sports garments and shirts (Figure 12.2).
· Place the two pieces to be sewed together facing right sides
· Check if the cut lines match
· Pin along the seam line and machine
· Press both seam allowances to one side
· Trim the under seam allowance by 0.25 cm.
· Turn the upper seam allowance to make a smooth fold over the other
· Press down firmly.
· Tack and fold down flat to the garment.
· Machine close to the folded edge on the right side of the garment.
· Open out and press the seam.
French seam is also known as double seam. It is a thick seam, so best suited for thin and delicate material. The main advan-tage of this seam is its durability and neat finish. The disadvantages are it cannot be done on curved edges or on thick fab-rics. This seam is common on children’s clothing and silk or light weight dresses (Figure 12. 3).
· Place the two pieces to be sewed together facing wrong sides.
· Work a row of stitches about 0.5 cm outside the seam line nearer to the raw edges.
· Trim the allowances.
· Press the seam flat and turn to the right side.
· Pin about 0.5 cm alone the seam line
· Fold and hand tack.
· Machine along the tacked line, remove the hand tacked thread and press.
Mantua maker’s seam is a simple seam, which is suitable for medium thick mate-rials. It gives a simple, neat but thick look (Figure 12. 4).
· Place the two pieces to be sewed together facing right sides.
· Trim one seam edge alone the tack-ing line by 0.25 cm.
· Make a turn of 0.5 cm on the wider edge to fall in line with the edge of the trimmed seam.
· Machine through the thicknesses
· Remove tacking thread.
· Press the seam.