Wool is a great fabric to use for projects like pillows, blankets and other home decor. It can also be used to create wonderful garments and outerwear, however it can tend to have rather bulky seams. Nicki LaFoille shows you some easy seam finishes to use on your next project that reduce bulk when sewing with wool.
A lap seam is a great seam finishing technique to use when sewing with wool because wool tends not to ravel. Nicki demonstrates the seam finish and explains how to make the seam stronger with a second line of stitching. A lap seam is not only good for sewing with wool, but is also great when sewing fleece and other thick, non-raveling fabrics.
Another great seam finishing technique to use when sewing with wool is a welt seam. This technique creates a very strong seam because it utilizes two lines of stitching, much like the welt seam. Nicki also shows how it creates a slightly raised edge along the seam, which can be a great decorative element to outerwear like jackets.
Finishing While Stitching
If you know ahead of time that you will be sewing with a bulky fabric like wool and want to finish the seams, the lap seam is great for finishing while stitching the project. As demonstrated in the video, one fabric is lapped over the other by ½”. This means that if you are using a different seam allowance on your project you will need to adjust the amount that is lapped over. Also, because the fabric is lapped over one another and then stitched, rather than stitched with right sides together, it’s best to make the decision to use the lap seam finishing method before you start a project and use it throughout so every seam matches.
If you complete a project and then decide that the seams should be finished, you can still add the welt seam finish to your project, however it may be easier to finish each seam immediately after you stitch it no matter which seam finishing technique you use.
Whether you are sewing fabrics like cotton that need to be finished because they can ravel, or sewing with wool or fleece that have bulky seams, or even sewing silk that can also tends to ravel; using the right seam finishing technique can give your project a professional look and ensure your seams hold up.