A french seam is used to hide seam allowances, leaving a nice clean finish on the inside of your creations.
It works great for delicate fabrics that fray a lot. Many people also use it when sewing sheer fabrics to keep the seams from showing.
If you get creative, you can use it for almost anything. It’s very helpful to sew pillowcases. It gives extra strength to the seam and it makes them look pretty on the inside. I have also used it to sew purses when I want to avoid lining them.
It also comes in very handy when you don’t have a serger sewing machine!
Here’s how to do it
- Sew the pieces together leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. The wrong sides of fabric should be facing each other. This is not the way you usually sew things, but this is a different type of seam.
- Trim the seam allowance to half it’s size. This will allow it to hide neatly.If you skip this step, you’ll end up having threads on the outside.
- Fold the fabric over the seam so that the wrong sides of fabric are now outside and the seam allowance is sandwiched between them. Press flat.
- Sew the folded edge with a 3/8″ seam allowance. The original seam is gone forever.
The seam looks like a regular seam on the outside, but you and I both know the trick is on the inside.
Watch step-by-step tutorials on zipper insertion, lining a skirt, adding darts, finishing with French seams and much more. Learn fit and finishing techniques with Sewing Studio, an online class, where you’ll learn methods you’ll use again and again.