Step-By-Step Guide - French Seam

This post is for those who just discovered my sewing patterns or have recently decided to dive into the sewing world, and - at some point, are wondering: how could I nicely finish the seam allowances without the overlock (serger) machine?!

Who already seen my sewing instructions, already knows that I love making French seams. This seam finishing is ideal if you are working with sheer or lightweight fabrics. It might seem hard to execute, but to me, it is the easiest and the faster to make if you want your garment look professionally made, you just need to practice.

So, I'm going to show how to make a French seam, once again.
For the tutorial, you will need a regular sewing machine, scissors, pins, ruler, iron with ironing board, and two fabric scraps (20x20 cm).

Usually, for the French seam, the amount of the seam allowance should be 1,5 cm, all my sewing patterns already include it and there’s no need to add anything.

So let's start:

Pin your fabric wrong sides together, as shown below.

Make a straight/regular stitch at 7 mm (or 1/4" is fine too) from the raw edge - you can also line the right side of your presser foot up with the raw edge because on most machines the presser foot is 1,5 cm wide, so when you make a straight stitch the needle is positioned in the middle of the presser foot, so you stitch roughly at 7 mm from the raw edge. 

Then trim the seam allowance down to 4 mm.

Now, press the seam allowance to one side, as shown below. Press on both sides of the fabric till the seam lays completely flat.

Then fold the fabric on the seam, so right sides facing together, and press again till the seam lays flat. Pin the fabric so it won't move while stitching.

Make the second stitch, again at 7 mm or 1/4" from the edge (or line up the edge of the fabric to the right side of the presser foot as you can see below). 

As specified above, the full seam allowance amount is 1,5 cm, so when you make the French seam you stitch twice at 7 mm from the edge, remains 1 mm that is lost when the fabric is folded the first time.

Finally, press the French seam to one side, on both sides of the fabric, so it lays completely flat.

Hope you'll find the above useful. If you have any suggestions, let me know, or leave a comment down here.

By the way, on my YouTube channel, you can find a 1-minute video tutorial on how to make a French seam, click here.

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