Crocheters often mention a love for seamless designs and mention leaving past projects abandoned at the seaming stage, which should really be one of the most exciting stages as flat pieces of crochet come to life as a finished item. I love the structured appearance of seamed garments and bags and I also enjoy sewing but have certainly felt nervous, myself, about choosing and creating a seam that enhances my finished piece, so I decided to create a library of seam tests that I can pick from. I’d like to share the first samples with you to help you pick the right seam for your projects too.
Why use seams in crochet projects?
With so many seamless patterns available, do we really need to use seams in our work? Well, seaming has benefits beyond simply attaching two pieces together. It can introduce structure, reduce stretchiness where it isn’t wanted, influence the drape and movement of your finished item, disguise small flaws or inconsistencies and perform as a decorative feature too.
Used in this article:
Furls Streamline Wooden Hook F/3.75mm
Lion Brand Pima Cotton Yarn in Raincloud for sample squares
Whip Stitch Seam
The whip stitch seam is one of the most common methods used in crochet to join two pieces together. It's straightforward and provides a clean, almost invisible seam.
Method: Place crochet pieces with the right sides facing each other. Insert needle through corresponding stitches on both pieces so you capture just one strand of yarn in the seam. After several stitches pull yarn through to desired tension.
Easy to learn, especially for seaming along the sides of stitches.
Can look messy if care isn’t taken to work evenly or around only one strand of yarn from each stitch.
Easy to stretch one side more than the other resulting in mismatched ends of the pieces
Mattress/Ladder Stitch Seam
Mattress or ladder stitch seam is standard in knitting and can also be used with crochet. It creates a very neat, firm seam.
Method: Align crochet pieces with right sides facing you. Insert needle around stitch head (like inserting hook for a post stitch) or vertically through a stitch catching at least two threads if working a seam along stitch sides. Repeat on corresponding stitch on other piece.
Produces a flat, invisible seam on sides of stitches.
A firm seam for a weight bearing part of the garment, e.g shoulder.
Can be time-consuming.
Slight ridge/bulk around stitch heads on side seam was worked from.
Slip Stitch in BLO Seam
A slip stitch seam is a decorative method for joining crochet pieces and adds an interesting design element to your project, especially when a contrast colour is used. It’s popular for joining motifs, e.g.granny squares and could make a great feature on the shoulder and side seams of a sleeveless top or dress.
Method: Align crochet pieces with right sides facing you. Insert hook into a back loop from each piece, yarn over, and pull through all three loops on hook. When seaming sides of stitches, insert hook between one strand of yarn and the rest of the stitch and try working the same number of slip stitches as you would use for a turning chain to match each stitch but be willing to adjust this if the seam feels loose or tight.
Adds texture and design to your project.
Can disguise an unattractive edge.
Creates a bold seam that may not be suitable for all projects.
Takes more yarn than other seaming methods.
Sewing Machine Zigzag seam
This is a really fast and flat way to join crocheted pieces. I thought it was a bit of a gimmick and did not expect to like it, especially on a smooth yarn, but I really did and was surprised how easy and effective it was.
Method: Align crochet pieces with right sides facing you and sides touching without overlapping. Set prepared machine to a wide, medium length zigzag stitch, make a few stitches manually to secure and sew the length of the seam in the usual manner so each side of the zigzag stitch catches the edge of one of the pieces. Tip: dust bobbin area well before using machine again.
Provides a strong, flat and durable seam.
Extremely fast and fun
Need access to a sewing machine and purchase matching thread.
Tricky and messy to unpick if you make a mistake
Choosing the right seaming method in crochet depends on the project's requirements and our personal preferences. Seams are varied and no single one is suitable for all projects. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new methods on your swatch to find the one that is best suited to your crochet project and enhances its overall appearance and durability. Nervous about starting to seam the real pieces? Try working a practice seam in a smooth lightweight cotton yarn on your swatch.
Let me know your thoughts on seaming and the seams I've used here in the comments. Do you have a favourite seam? Is there another type of seam you love or would like me to include here?