Special Sewing Techniques -- Summary, Review and Activities


• Special seams can enclose a seam allowance or create a decorative effect.

• Tucks and pleats control fullness or add design interest.

• Interfacings and linings help shape and support the outer fabric.

• The four basic collars are flat, rolled, shirt, and standing.

• The three basic sleeves are set in, raglan, and kimono. They can be finished with a hem, facing, casing, or cuff.

• Three popular pocket styles are in-seam, patch, and front hip.

• A waistline can be finished with a waist band, facing, or casing.

• Some garments are trimmed with bias binding. Others are decorated with ruffles or trims.


1. Why might you use a flat-felled seam instead of a French seam?

2. Why are seams sometimes topstitched?

3. What is the difference between tucks and pleats?

4. What should you do before applying fusible interfacing to garment sections?

5. What should you consider when choosing lining fabric?

6. Describe four basic collars.

7. To which side of a collar is interfacing usually applied?

8. How can you make crisp, sharp points on a collar?

9. Describe three basic sleeves.

10. Why is a kimono sleeve easy to sew?

11. Describe three basic cuffs.

12. Why is a placket added to a sleeve?

13. How do you miter the corners on a pocket?

14. How is the direction of a waistband over lap determined?

15. What are bias bindings?

16. What is the difference between piping and tubing?

17. How do straight and circular ruffles differ?

18. Describe the three methods used to apply trims.


1. Construction features. Look at actual garments or photos from magazines and catalogs. Identify such construction features as tucks; pleats; waistbands; and varied styles of collars, sleeves, plackets, cuffs, pockets, and bias bindings.

2. Decorative trims. Using fashion magazines and catalogs, collect photos that show decorative trims used on garments or home decorating items. Describe the construction method used to apply each trim.

3. Samples. Sew samples of the following: self-finished seams, decorative seams, tucks, pleats, bias bindings, tubing, and trims. Make mini-samples of a flat or rolled collar, set-in sleeve, cuff, in-seam pocket, patch pocket, waistband, and ruffle. How might you improve your samples?

4. Project. Construct a garment that has a collar, sleeves, and pockets. Evaluate each of the special sewing techniques used in the project.

5. Serging. If a serger is available, use it to stitch a sample collar, sleeve, pocket, or waistband.


1. Art. Draw illustrations of a home decorating project, such as a pillow, place mat, or table runner. Use your creativity to add various trims or appliqués to each of your designs.

2. The Internet. Investigate ways to use your sewing skills for a charitable cause. For example, the Home Sewing Association offers project ideas for charitable sewing. What other Web sites offer free patterns or guidelines on how to sew for charity? What sewing skills are required for these projects? How do they relate to the sewing skills you have learned? If possible, plan and carry out a charitable sewing project with your classmates.

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Friday, 2012-10-12 17:07