Saturday, November 27, 2010

French Seam Tutorial

In my last post, I mentioned that I did French seams on the nighties I made for my friend Jessica's daughter Sophie.

French seams are pretty awesome. I don't have a serger, and while I do have a mock overlock stitch on my machine, it uses a ton of thread and the fabric still looks sort of messy. French seams are cool because they completely encase the raw edges inside of the seam so they are totally hidden. They can't fray and they look clean and crisp. They look deviously tricky, but they are really so very simple.

I thought I would write a little tutorial on how to do French seams, in case you are interested. Just keep in mind that I am pretty much self-taught in my sewing skills. I took a class in 10th grade, but for the most part, what I know I have learned by trial and error. This tutorial uses a finished 5/8' seam allowance, so you may have to adjust for your own project. One more thing: I have never written a tutorial before, so if you use it, please leave me a note in the comments and be brutally honest about whether it was helpful and what improvements I could make. Thank you!


Step 1: Place the WRONG sides of your fabric together (opposite of what you would normally do). Stitch fabric together using a 1/4" seam allowance. It will seem weird, but you should be sewing on the right side of the fabric.

Step 2: Fold stitched fabric along seam line, this time with the right sides together. Press well. You want your seam nice and flat. Remember, you will be pressing the WRONG side of the fabric. Just go with it.

Step 3: Stitch on the wrong side of the fabric, stitching 3/8" from your first pressed seam. You are encasing the raw edge inside with this second seam.

That's it! This is how it will look on the wrong side:

And this is how it will look on the right side:

OK-that's how it normally looks, so this photo is not that impressive.

I hope you try French seams sometime. They are easy and quick, and kind of magical. Good luck!

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