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French Seams are Easier Than You Think!

by Beth Cooper

A French seam is a sewing technique that results in a clean, polished finish on both sides of a fabric. This seam is especially useful for lightweight fabrics, as it eliminates the need for bulky seam allowances or serging. It’s commonly used for sheer fabrics, lingerie, and delicate materials.

An example of a French seam (Source: Flickr)

The Steps

The French seam is created by sewing two seams, one on the right side of the fabric and one on the wrong side of the fabric. Here are the steps to follow when creating a French seam:

Step 1: Place the fabric with the wrong sides together and stitch a 1/4 inch seam allowance. This is going to feel weird to sew the wrong sides together first. Trust the process.

Step 2: Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8 inch, as close to the stitches as possible. This step is important because it ensures that there is no excess fabric when sewing the second seam.

Step 3: Press the seam allowance to one side. This will help to ensure that the fabric lies flat and makes it easier to sew the second seam.

Step 4: Fold the fabric with the right sides together and stitch a 1/2 inch seam allowance, enclosing the first seam inside.

Step 5: Press the seam allowance to one side again. The French seam is now complete. Just flip your item right side out.

Pressing is an important step of French seams. Use some Best Press and get a nice crisply-pressed seam! Find it here.

The Advantages

One of the advantages of using a French seam is that it gives a neater and more professional finish. It’s also a good way to prevent fraying of fabrics, which can be a problem with delicate or lightweight materials. Additionally, it can be used in situations where the seam may be visible, such as with sheer fabrics or on the outside of a garment.

Overall, the French seam is a useful technique that can help to elevate the quality of your sewing projects. While it may take a bit of practice to master, it’s well worth the effort to achieve a polished and professional finish.

Want to read about more sewing techniques? Click here!

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