In a French seam, the raw edges of the fabric are fully enclosed for a neat finish. The seam is first sewn with wrong sides together, then the seam allowances are trimmed and pressed. A second seam is sewn with right sides together, enclosing the raw edges of the original seam.
In a flat or abutted seam, two pieces of fabric are joined edge-to edge with no overlap and sewn with hand or machine stitching that encloses the raw edges. Antique or old German seam is the 19th century name for a hand-sewn flat seam that joins two pieces of at their selvages. This type of construction is found in traditional linen garments such as shirts and chemises, and in hand-made sheets pieced from narrow loom widths of linen.
In a lapped seam, the two layers overlap with the wrong side of the top layer laid against the right side of the lower layer. Lapped seams are typically used for bulky materials that do not ravel, such as leather and felt.
A seam finish is a treatment that secures and neatens the raw edges of a plain seam to prevent ravelling, by sewing over the raw edges or enclosing them in some sort of binding.
On mass-produced clothing, the seam allowances of plain seams are usually trimmed and stitched together with an overlock stitch using a serger. Plain seams may also be pressed open, with each seam allowance separately secured with an overlock stitch. Traditional home sewing techniques for finishing plain seams include trimming with pinking shears, oversewing with a zig-zag stitch, and hand or machine overcasting.
A bound seam has each of the raw edges of its seam allowances enclosed in a strip of fabric, lace or net 'binding' that has been folded in half lengthwise. An... [continues]
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