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How to Sew a French Seam

How to Sew a French Seam

If you're looking to create a neat finish on your handmade garments, French seams are the most popular finishing technique, enabling you to hide unsightly raw fabric edges in an elegant finished seam. Once you've mastered this technique, you'll want to use it to finish off all your garments!

METHOD: Creating French Seams with a Sewing Machine

  1. Once you've set up your sewing machine, figure out which side of your fabric is the 'right' side and which is the 'wrong' side. Pin the 'wrong' sides of the fabric together and place it in the machine and stitch a 3/8" seam allowance down the entire seam of the fabric.
  2. Trim down to a 1/8" allowance. Open the seam with the 'right' side of the fabric facing up. Fold the seam to the right side, fire up your iron, and press the fabric. Ensure that it's on the correct heat setting for the fabric you're working with.
  3. Flip the fabric over to the 'wrong' side and press again to make sure that the seam is completely flat. Fold the fabric on the seam so that the 'right' sides are facing one another, and press the seam with the stitching on the edge of the fold.
  4. Pin the layers together along the pressed edge and place the seam into your sewing machine. Sew to the quantity equal to the overall garment's seam allowance, based on what you chose in step one (3/8").
  5. Sew the entire seam, ensuring that you trap the original seam allowance in the fold. Press with an iron on the 'wrong' side of the seam, with the entire French seam to one side. Then, press down on the 'right' side of the seam for the final finish!
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