I posted about making French Seams way back in my blogger-blog days. It wasn’t a terribly detailed post so I thought it might be nice to just do a new one. So while I was making this dress I took the time to take some photos of the process known as ‘french seams’. I have edited the coloring on some of the photos to make the seams stand out better. I find that on linen, if your thread matches well it can be hard to see where the stitching actually is.
This is the right side of the fabric. The seam already sewn is the Raglan sleeve. I don’t do french seams on most curved seams – I serge those. But on side seams and other straight seams I like to use french seams on finer fabrics and for more dressy clothing. It just adds a special heirloom touch. And it isn’t hard at all, just takes a little more time. The raw edges in the photo above are the sides of the garment. You want to start by putting these raw edges together with WRONG sides together.
Sew a 1/4 inch seam. I make it a scant 1/4 inch seam.
Trim the seam to 1/8 inch.
Now you have a nice smooth edge that can be encased in the next step.
Now turn the garment RIGHT sides together like you normally sew your seams.
The wrong side looks like this. You will need to finger press the first seam so that it lays neat and tidy.
You may pin this seam if you want. I added some pins in my photos, just for you! I use pins as little as possible so I didn’t use them for most of the two side seams. I just roll the seam out neatly and finger press it as I go.
Sew a 1/4 inch seam. This will fully encase your raw edges from your first seam inside, neat and tidy, out-of-sight!
Check the seam to make sure there are not stragglers peeping through. Especially where you have another seam running through. If you look closely you can see that I had that issue at this seam. I simply went back to the wrong side and made the seam a little wider over the other seam.
It is always nice if your seams all line up neatly instead of off-set. To do this make sure they line up at the seam allowance line where you will be stitching and not just at the edges of the fabric.
And now the inside of your garment looks like this! I could have done french seams on the Raglan sleeve seam too but I felt it was just too much bulk for a seam there. With the aid of sergers the need for french seams has been eliminated. But I still love the look and the bit of elegance it adds to those special dresses.
Have you ever sewn french seams? Do you think you could do it by following this tutorial?