How to Widen a Slot-Seam Opening - Threads

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How to Widen a Slot-Seam Opening

Threads contributing editor Mary Ray demonstrates some creative ways to use slot seams as surface design in "Variations on a Seam," Threads #168 (August/September 2013). Here, she shares a neat method for widening slot-seam openings to uncover the underlay. Follow these steps to learn how to turn this otherwise basic construction element into a unique and unexpected embellishment.

How to widen slot-seam openings to show off an interesting underlay fabric:

  1. Prepare the slot-seam opening by adding 1/8 inch to the pattern's seam allowance width. Fuse interfacing strips to the seam allowances' wrong sides. Baste along the seamline, right sides together. Then press the seam allowances open. Cut an underlay strip 3⁄4 inch wider than the pressed-open seam allowances.
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2. Center the underlay strip, right side down, over the seam allowances (aligning the raw edges), and pin. The strip will bubble away from the basted seam because of its additional width. Topstitch from the right side 3/8-inch from the basted seamline (shown), taking care not to catch the underlay strip's excess material in the stitches. Repeat on the remaining seam allowance (shown pinned).
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3. Remove the slot seam basting stitches from the right side. Encourage the folded edges to spread apart, and press from the right side. The photo shows the widened slot seam complete.
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Have you used slot seams as surface design in any of your garments? What other basic construction elements have you used as embellishments?

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Comments (9)

Countessa Countessa writes: Slot seams are fun to use. They basically give a glimpse of a contracting fabric under the seam. Looks great when a 'flashy' material is used as the contrast; livens up an otherwise plain outfit. This is a good example: http://www.sewastraightline.com/2010/01/slot-seam.html
Works best on straight seams. Have fun.
Posted: 11:02 pm on June 28th

vintagenonnie vintagenonnie writes: I'm with you DLZD, what is a slot seam!?! I too have been sewing for many years & have never encountered anything by this name.
Posted: 10:21 pm on June 28th

sewold sewold writes: Just had another thought - this would be a good way to add just a little ease when a garment is feeling a little too snug (weight gain, maybe?).

Posted: 7:58 am on June 26th

sewold sewold writes: I've never used a slot seam either but it would be a good technique for an accent. If you have already cut out the garment and didn't cut extra, why not just sew closer to the original seam line? An edge stitch wouldn't detract from the accent fabric.
Posted: 7:56 am on June 26th

Sigrid Sigrid writes: Lovely technique to enhance the effect of a slot seam. Think it is important to note that if you do this on pattern pieces already cut, you widen you pattern piece with the 1/4 inch with this. Especially important if you have multiple slot seams.
Posted: 2:12 am on June 26th

seniorslugger seniorslugger writes: Me too, have sewed for ions and have never heard of slot seams. Would like to know though
Posted: 6:49 pm on June 25th

eatsallinsects eatsallinsects writes: I LOVE slot seams but haven't sewn any in probably 60 years!
THANKS for the reminder of how wonderful they look!
Posted: 6:49 pm on June 25th

seniorslugger seniorslugger writes:
Posted: 6:46 pm on June 25th

DLZD DLZD writes: I've been sewing for 50 years and have never heard of a slot seam. How and/or where would one use this technique?
Posted: 5:13 pm on June 25th

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