There are many seam tutorials on our site to use when sewing garments. This tutorial shows how to sew a basic lapped seam.
Flat felled seams and French seams, as well as mock French seams are lovely seam finishes to hide seam allowances and to protect them from fraying.
The lapped seam, though, is the very best seam to use on non-fraying fabrics. The finish is clean and flat, reducing the bulk of the seam to only three layers of fabric rather than four.
Learn more about how to sew a basic lapped seam by watching our video or keep reading this post.
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watch the whole video tutorial, click the link Basic Lapped Seam Tutorial to watch in Youtube.
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What is a lapped seam?
A lapped seam definition is when one piece of fabric is laid on top of the other with an overlap and a lapped seam is created. With this seam, the fabrics are both sewn with right sides facing up.
When the fabric is overlapped, a nice and thin seam is formed.
When would you use a basic lapped seam?
There are two ways to sew a lapped seam. This tutorial shows how to sew a basic lapped seam when sewing a yoke or V-neck where it is very difficult to sew a traditional seam that will lay flat with little to no bulk.
With the basic lapped seam, a final topstitching is done to complete the seam.
Lapped seams can also be used with fabrics that do not fray. Some examples of these would be a lapped seam on suede, leather, felt and fleece. These fabrics tend to be heavier and thicker than other fabrics where several layers in a seam allowance will not create a flat and neat seam.
However, with the fabrics that are heavier and don't fray, a lapped seam reduces the bulk of the seam and allows it to lay flat.
Making a straight, clean looking basic lap seam is not always easy, especially for beginners.
The following tutorial on sewing a basic lapped seam will enable the sewist to make a very nice looking, nearly perfect lapped seam finish when sewing a yoke or v-neck where it is often difficult to sew a neat seam.
WHAT YOU NEED to sew a lap seam
- Two pieces of fabric
- Threaded sewing machine
- Marking pencil or chalk
- Straight pins
- Ironing board
INSTRUCTIONS to sew a basic lapped seam
STEP 1: mark the fabrics at the seam allowance
Decide what the seam allowance will be. On most patterns, this is a 5/8" seam allowance.
Measure with the ruler a 5/8" seam allowance on the edge of the right sides on both fabrics. Using the chalk or a marking pencil and ruler, draw a straight line along this measurement on both pieces of each piece of fabric.
step 2: fold under and iron one lap seam allowance
With one piece of the fabric right side down, fold down the seam allowance on the line and iron the fold so it has a crisp edge.
After ironing, flip the fabric right side up as it will be sewn this way.
step 3: Pin the Seam allowance in place
With both fabrics right side up, lay the folded and ironed fabric edge on the marked seam line of the other piece of fabric.
Using straight pins, pin within the seam allowance to hold the fabrics together for sewing. Pin the entire length of the seam allowance.
step 4: Top stitch along the folded edge
Once the two pieces of fabric are pinned, take the material to the sewing machine. Begin top stitching approximately 1/8" away from the fold within the seam allowance.
Remember to back tack at the beginning and end of the stitching. Use scissors to cut the ends of the threads.
Now the basic lapped seam is complete! It will lay perfectly flat! Below is a photo of the back side of the seam.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on sewing the basic lapped seam.
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