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Seam treatment musings

One couture finish (especially for garments which are lined) is to catch stitch the seam allowances to the underlining.  If the garment is unlined, I would use a slip stitch. I am not sure how couture this is - I just wouldn't want the considerable amount of thread used in catch stitching on display (even if on the inside!), so I think a slip stitch would be a good alternative.

But - what happens when the garment is not underlined? Catch stitching to the fashion fabric would work depending on the fabric - for example some fabrics would be too soft for that sort of treatment. For unlined garments, catch stitching is not an option at all, and slip stitching would not yield the desired result.

I have been thinking about this in the past few days for my Laurel blouse. I have a very soft fabric that I'm not sure I want to underline. I think I can solve this problem by using strips of woven interfacing, attached to the seam allowances. I guess both sew-in and fusible would work, but I would try the sew in sort because that could be attached when the seam is sewn in (and would otherwise flow free, which would reduce bulk).

My plan is to go to MacCulloch & Wallis and see if I can buy anything of the sort. Any thoughts on whether this would work?


  1. I'm not sure I understand what you are doing here. Are you thinking you would enclose the seam allowance in the interfacing, sort of like applying a bias binding to it? If so, why not try a seam tape, like Hug Snug? Otherwise, I think one of the most frequently used couture techniques is hand overcasting the seams, though that sounds pretty laborious! French seams and mock French seams are always good, too.

    1. I'm trying to prevent the seam allowances flapping around (catch or slip stitch them to something so they aren't waving around freely). Usually it's not a problem with sturdier (shirting and above) versions of cotton but stuff like lawn is a bit of an issue. I also find that wool is a problem if the seam allowances aren't stitched down somehow. I'll do a picture tutorial.

      I think I'll finish the actual seams using either hand or machine overcasting (probably the former though since I like the process and it seems less bulky).


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