Seaming Done Right
Whether joining afghan blocks or strips, or seaming a garment, the various pieces can be joined using one or more of several methods. Crocheting pieces together generally results in a stronger, more stable seam, while sewing often produces a lighter, less bulky seam.
Let’s look at some of the most common joining methods using afghan pieces as an example. You can choose a specific type of joining method that best suits your project, depending on the look you want or the strength that your design needs. Note that in photos, a contrasting color yarn was used for seaming for better visibility; for your project, use a matching color to help your seams blend in.
WHIPSTITCH IN ONE LOOP
One of the most common sewing methods for joining crocheted pieces is an overhand stitch, or whipstitch. Hold the pieces with right sides together and sew through the back loops (see Stitch Guide) only (see Photo A). Sewing through the back loops only gives a pretty result with the remaining loops, forming a subtle outline ridge on the right side of the work that defines each block or strip.
WHIPSTITCH IN BOTH LOOPS
If you prefer not to have a ridged outline around the pieces visible on the front side, sew through both loops of the stitches as shown here (see Photo B).
For a raised ridge on the right side of your project, use a single crochet joining, holding the pieces with wrong sides together. The photo example is worked in the back loops only (see Photo C). This type of joining can also be worked on the wrong side if a decorative raised ridge on the front side of the project isn’t desired.
REVERSE SINGLE CROCHET
Joining pieces using reverse single crochet stitches produces a braided cord effect (see Photo D). As the name implies, you are working your single crochet stitches in reverse, or from left to right (righthanded) or right to left (left-handed).
SLIP STITCH ON FRONT SIDE
This joining creates an attractive chain stitch on the right side of the work. Place the pieces with right sides facing up and edges overlapping. Keeping the yarn behind the pieces, insert the hook through the back loop of each stitch to the back of the work and draw the yarn through all loops to the front of the work (see Photo E).
SLIP STITCH ON BACK SIDE
Slip stitching the pieces together from the wrong side will produce an almost invisible joining. This method is faster and easier than sewing and will keep the seams flatter and the stitches more even. Place the pieces together with right sides facing and slip stitch either through the back loops only (see Photo F) or through all loops, depending on whether or not you want an outline stitch to be visible on the right side of the work.
SLIP STITCH & CHAIN
Using this seaming method gives a pretty lattice-type insert between the joined pieces. Holding the pieces with wrong sides together, simply slip stitch back and forth between the pieces, chaining two or three between and skipping one or two stitches on the motifs (see Photo G).
Have fun experimenting with different joining techniques to give your project the right finished look and necessary stability. Knowing which technique works best for your project will help produce successful results time after time. To get you started, turn the page to find two bold and beautiful afghan projects that incorporate two of the seaming techniques discussed in this article.