Knitting knowhow: how to make up/seaming

General tips on joining your knitted pieces, from the very first issue of Prima

4 knitted squares joined

Knitting instructions always tell you in what order to sew together your knitting, although not what kind of seam to use. As a rule, a flat or backstitch seam are the most commonly used and often an edge-to-edge seam can be very useful for openwork patterns.

Before sewing up your garment, darn in the loose ends of yarn to the back of the work. If necessary, pin out the pattern pieces to the correct size and press, excluding the ribbing, on the back of the work.

It is best to use the same yarn as the garment was knitted in. Using a large-eyed round-ended needle, work stitch selected, taking care to insert the needle between or through the centre of the stitch and not through the actual strand of the yarn.

Flat seam

Used for sewing up the ribbing and joining borders like button bands, a flat seam is also suitable when you have used a very thick yarn. Use this seam also for small clothes for dolls or babies.

To make, hold right sides of the knitting together, matching the rows when sewing up a straight edge. Secure the yarn with a couple of stitches. Sew the seam from back to front, then front to back without overstitching, as shown in the diagram. Do not pull the stitches too tightly. When the seam is complete, anchor the yarn tightly to finish.

Backstitch seam

A backstitch seam can be used if a strong seam is required such as for keeping in soft toy stuffing. It can be bulky so it is best not to use it for ribbing. Use for shoulder seams and setting in sleeves. Work one stitch in from the edge, and work from right to left.

Edge-to-edge seam

Use this seam whenever you do not want a firm edge, such as lace stitches or baby clothes. Place pieces together, carefully matching rows. Using the same yarn, work from bottom to top, alternately sewing into the head of each stitch. Secure yarn and cut off.

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