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cz craftexclusive Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial final 01b Sewing 101: French Seams
By Haley Pierson-Cox

French seams are a simple and versatile way to create strong, professional-looking seams in any sewing project. A French seam uses two lines of stitches to encase the raw, unfinished fabric edges within the seam itself, which hides the edges from view, prevents fraying, and creates a clean and elegant look that’s perfect for anything from trousers and jeans to delicate foundation garments and lingerie. I use French seams just about every time I sew — especially when I want to be sure that fabric won’t unravel when a finished piece is worn or used. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to utilize the French seam method in your own sewing projects!

Materials

Fabric pieces to be sewn Before starting an important project, first try the method out on two rectangular pieces of scrap fabric.
Fabric clips or straight pins
Quilting ruler
Rotary cutter or fabric scissors
Iron and ironing board
Sewing machine Hand sewing is also fine.

Directions

Before we get started, please note that I used a standard ½” seam allowance for this tutorial. If you are working with a pattern that has a seam allowance that is larger or smaller than ½”, you can increase or decrease the measurement in Step 5.

french seam tutorial step 01 Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 02 Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 1: With the WRONG (unprinted) sides of the fabric facing, align the edges of the fabric to be sewn together. Use fabric clips or straight pins to hold the pieces in place.

french seam tutorial step 03a Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 03b Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 03c Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 2: Use your sewing machine to sew down the length of the fabric edge with a ¼” seam allowance. This line should be sewn on the RIGHT (printed) side of the fabric.

french seam tutorial step 04 Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 3: Align the quilting ruler on the seam that you stitched in Step 2, then use a rotary cutter to trim away the excess fabric on the edge of the seam, getting as close to the seam stitching as possible.

french seam tutorial step 05a Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 05b Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 4: Once the extra fabric has been trimmed away from the seam edge, open the connected pieces of fabric and use an iron to press the seam between them open. Next, fold the the fabric pieces together at the seam with RIGHT (printed) sides facing and press the folded seam closed.

The two pieces of fabric should now be folded together at the seam, and the unfinished edge should be sandwiched between them.

french seam tutorial step 06a Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 06b Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 5: With a ¼” seam allowance, sew along the folded edge, enclosing the unfinished edges between the two layers of fabric.

french seam tutorial step 07b Sewing 101: French Seams
french seam tutorial step 07a Sewing 101: French Seams
Step 6: To finish, open the folded fabric, then press the seam open on the RIGHT (printed) side of the fabric. On the WRONG (unprinted) side of the fabric, press the folded edge of the seam flat to one side.

That’s all there is to it. Now, go forth and sew French seams to your heart’s content!

About the Author:

haley author image Sewing 101: French Seams

Haley Pierson-Cox is a Brooklyn-based craft writer who loves granny glasses and loathes extraneous apostrophes. She blogs about crafts, cats, domestic bliss, and DIY goodness at The Zen of Making.

Haley Pierson-Cox

Brooklyn-based DIY from a Gal in Granny Glasses
http://www.thezenofmaking.com


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