Learning to Sew Series Part 3: How to Sew Basic Seams


Welcome to Day 3 of the Learning to Sew Series! Yesterday we learned how to sew stitches and today we’re going to use those skills in an application and learn how to sew seams. If you’re just joining the series, you can catch up on Part 1: How to Set Up Your Sewing Machine and Part 2: How to Stitch.

Seams are used to join two panels of fabric together. They are most often used for sewing larger projects like covers or awnings. There are several different methods for sewing a seam, and we’re going to cover two of the most popular options: an overlapping seam and a semi-flat felled seam.


If you’d like to learn more about seams, check out our post on the 3 Most Popular Seams for Canvas for more of an in-depth look at seam techniques.

Tomorrow we’ll be back with Part 4: How to Finish an Edge; you won’t want to miss it!

  1. John Hughes said:

    Great work so far!

    A few things I’d like to see in a followup to this video:

    * A brief discussion of what kind of seam is used in what context (e.g., lapped seam: winter cover; half-felled seam: sailcover, dodger, …)

    * Some hints about keeping the material aligned so that you get a decent seam even when the material’s big and bulky, like two panels of a winter cover for a 30-foot boat. I can sew two square feet of sunbrella together pretty easily, but the big stuff is a pain.

    * A mention (or a “slide” list) about which thread/needle combinations are appropriate for which materials. You hinted about this saying “with the sunbrella, we’ve moved up to V-92 thread and such-and-such a needle,” but I’m not sure what I’d use for sewing a window into a dodger, for instance, or for restitching a seam in a dacron sail of a certain weight.

    I know this stuff doesn’t belong in a first “how do to a simple seam” video, but I’d sure love to see it in a later one!

    • Nikki said:

      Hi John,

      Thanks for your feedback! I can already help you out with a couple of those points. This blog post: https://sailrite.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/3-most-popular-seams-for-canvas/ goes more in-depth with seams and their individual strengths and weaknesses.

      Also, our Thread & Needle Recommendation Guide gives suggestions for which thread and needle combination to use with all of the materials we carry. You can find that guide in the documents section on any fabric or thread at http://www.sailrite.com.

      Hope you find that helpful and thanks for reading!

      • John said:

        That’s great…thanks!

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