Sunday, July 18, 2010

French Seam

This is a seam I learned recently and I have found it very useful. It is not appropriate for all projects, however, when you can use it, I highly recommend it. It adds a great finished and professional look to your projects.

The French Seam is comprised of only two straight stitches and creates a finished seam. It is ideal to use especially if you do not have a serger or an over-locking stitch, or similar, on your sewing machine. It also uses far less thread than serging or over-locking and is much quicker.

To begin, take your two pieces of fabric and place them WRONG sides together. Sew the edges together with a seam allowance of half of what the pattern allows. For example, if your pattern has a seam allowance of 1/2", then sew 1/4". Pictured below is an example. I sewed these 2 pieces of fabric Wrong sides together at a 1/4" seam.

Next, iron the seam open, pictured below. It may seam like a good step to skip, but it really helps to create a smooth finished seam.

Now fold the two pieces at the seam with RIGHT sides facing. You can iron at this point, if you wish:

Finally, sew along the seam 1/4" from the edge (a 1/4" seam allowance). This gives you a total of 1/2" seam allowance used. The finished seam has all raw edges tucked nicely inside the two pieces and out of sight. I really love this new technique. It is not always the most appropriate "serging" option, so I recommend reading through all the instructions first to make sure that it will not get in the way before using it. For example, I just made some drawstring bags and because of a few steps where you actually go in and open the seam at 2 points, and insert the drawstring, this type of seam would have really been a nuisance to deal with.

Anyway, if this stitch is new for you, I hope you find it useful!

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