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Whenever Possible, Use Flat Construction Methods Flat construction means manipulating your pattern to sew seams while you can still lay the garment fabric flat. The most common way I do this is with sleeves – I sew the sleeve seam before the side seams or underarm seam. At each of those steps I can lay the garment totally flat while I’m sewing and only shift to round construction for cuffs and collars. Flat construction is almost always faster