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Welt Seam Tutorial: 5 Simple Steps

This welt seam tutorial is short for a reason. Sewing a welt seam is super easy. It really is.

It’s why it is used to sew jeans, one of the most mass-produced garments ever!

You do not need lots of in-depth, step-by-step photos for a welt seam because it is such an easy seam to sew.

Note that we are talking about sewing a welt seam, not a welt pocket, which is a completely different tutorial!

Welt seam tutorial

What Is A Welt Seam?

A welt seam is like a mock flat-felled seam. It isn’t enclosed like a flat-felled seam is, so the raw edges will need to be finished in some way – either with a serger / overlocker or by using a zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine.

Step 1: Finishing Raw Edges

Make sure you have finished the edges of your fabric pieces using a zigzag stitch or overlocker / serger. As you’ll note further down, I didn’t do this step (rolls eyes), which means the raw edge can still fray up to the point of the stitched line as in the following image!

Close up photo of a zigzag stitch seam finish

Step 2: Right Sides Together

Place the right sides of the fabric together and sew a seam with your chosen finished seam allowance. I’m using 1 cm.

A simple pressed plain seam

Step 3: Pressing The First Stitch Line

Press the stitches to set them. Then, press the seam open to start with, and then both sides of your seam allowance to the same side. It should look like this.

Simple seam photo
Seam allowance is pushed to one side when sewing a welt seam

Step 4: Preparing For The Final Seam

Place the fabric open under the machine foot, with both right sides of that section facing up. Make sure that the seam allowances are still to one side of the stitch line!

Edge of sewing machine foot to sew a welt seam

Step 5: Sewing The Welt Seam

Using your sewing machine foot as a guide, sew a line down the length of the original seam, through the three layers:

  1. Actual garment layer
  2. Seam allowance 1
  3. Seam allowance 2
Close up photo of sewing a welt seam

Finished! All the seam allowances should now be stitched in place with one line of topstitching. You could also edge-stitch along the edge of the original stitch line if you wanted to, to make it look more like a mock flat-felled seam. But that is optional!

Close up of a finished welt seam
Back of a finished welt seam
Front of a finished welt seam

Isn’t that just a pretty welt seam? You would, of course, use the right colour thread when sewing your welt seam – I used a contrasting thread so that it would show in the photos!

Let me know how you get on with the welt seam – I’d love to hear if the tutorial helped you!

And, if you’d like to learn about other seam finishes, I have the post on sewing French seams and this post on how to sew an open seam!

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Kahabi Ze Chaka

Tuesday 12th of October 2021

The notes is very well, big up

Marcy

Wednesday 29th of July 2020

I'm loving your posts on the different types of seams! Is there a rule-of-thumb about which side the seam should go towards. Like a simple skirt with two side seams. Should the went seams go toward the front or back...or one of each?

Eve Tokens

Thursday 10th of September 2020

Hi Marcy, sorry for the late reply - I only just caught this comment! So, usually the seam allowance is pushed towards the back and then stitched down (for a welt seam) which places the seam 'ridge' towards front and the line of topstitching on the back. Of course the choice can also be personal - but you wouldn't want one going to the front and one to the back - it wouldn't be symmetrical and would look odd to the eye! Hope this helps! :)