I first heard of french seams when I started testing patterns for Patterns By Figgy’s. I thought that they looked kind of intimidating and so I totally avoided that option when testing the pattern. Silly me! They aren’t difficult at all! They are actually quite easy, when you go step by step.
What is a french seam? A french seam is a seam that is sewn to enclose the seam allowance, leaving no raw edges. It is best used on a straight seam, or very slightly curved seams. Not great for armholes, for example. Great for the side seams of a shirt.
Why use a french seam? French seams are great for very sheer fabrics because you cannot see a raw edge in the finished product. They are also great for people who have sensitive skin, as they are a softer finished seam. Patterns by Figgy’s suggests using them for this reason. If you have someone with sensory issues in your family, french seams are your friends!
How is a french seam sewn? So glad you asked!
Step 1: WRONG SIDES TOGETHER, sew your two pieces of fabric together using a 3/8 seam allowance, then press the seam flat.
Step 2: Trim both seam allowances to 1/8″ and press them both to one side.
Step 3: Fold the two pieces of fabric the other way, so that the right sides are facing each other and the seam allowance is enclosed in the fold. Press them together.
Step 4: Sew a seam 1/4 of and inch in from the folded edge, this is the actual seam line, or the finished seam.
That’s it folks! Really, that’s it. That’s all a french seam is. Does it seem a bit less scary now? Do you think you’ll try it? Try it out with some scrap fabric first, until you get the hang of it, then go crazy!
I’m planning on posting more of this kind of thing in the future… just simple and short tutorials to expand our repertoire of sewing skills. If it’s something I’ve never done, I’ll try it anyway! It’s a great way to learn, and I definitely have a lot of learning to do!