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Picture of how to sew a french seam
French seams are not as scary as they're talked up to be. I promise! The most tricky part about a French seam is making sure you account for the right width in the seam allowances of your project!

French seams are amazingly strong, so they're great for purses, totes, clothing and all sorts of home decor items! They're especially nice for clothes - no rough edges against the skin. 

This is the easiest and quickest way I've found to do them - sewing 1/8 and then 1/4 inch seam allowances keeps you from having to spend time cutting extra fabric off, and also keeps you from having to account for a really large seam allowance.

Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of what you'll need:
This is pretty simple. You'll need two strips of fabric, a sewing machine and an iron. :D
 
LenoreC2 days ago
Ok I totally get how to do the French seam on one side. Now how do I complete the other side??? I think I understand in my head but would love to see how the other side is done. Like if I were making a skirt??
Micb15 months ago
Can u make a french seam by hand?
jessyratfink (author)  Micb15 months ago

Yup! Just make sure to knot well at the ends. :D

MicioGatta11 months ago

Funny, in Italy this is called English seam :D Nice ible.

bjsoohy1 year ago

I hope I have this correct, but, i want to ask to be sure. In step #3, you don't finger press the seam you just sewed opened up down the center ( with one side of the fabric pressed to the right side and the other side of the seam's fabric pressed to the left side). You finger press BOTH sides of the seam's fabric to the left. Is that correct?

kiddosmum2 years ago
I guess I'm blind but I didn't see what the tutorial was showing me, I'm just as confused now as before reading.
doodlecraft2 years ago
Oh I love French seams! I use them on any clothes I sew! Great tutorial!
MicioGatta2 years ago
Very good tutorial. I've learn to do this seam some years ago, the funny thing is that in Italy is called "cucitura inglese", english seam. :)
eoverton2 years ago
I'm a big fan of French seams for places you wouldn't think to use them -- such as in lined garments, where seam allowances wouldn't be up against the skin, anyway. The big advantage in a lined garment is that when you place wrong sides of "outer" fabric and liner together, you can force the excess of the seam in opposite directions when you sew the two together. Otherwise, if you just hit the allowances with pinking shears and don't force the allowance any particular way, if both allowances (outer fabric and garment) decide to go the same way, you get an unsightly bunch inside lining and outer fabric that can be impossible to get rid of. And often the lighter weight the fabric on the outside, the worse it looks. The classic example is the lined bodice of a dress, where the top seam seals the top and sewing the bodice to the skirt seals the bottom. And most dresses built like that are "formal" or "prom dress" styles where the outer fabric is usually something that demands a very smooth finish. So a French seam is pretty much a must in that situation.
lmnopeas2 years ago
Neat! I love the fabric too! It's very retro whimsical!
HollyMann2 years ago
Thank you! Awesome clear instructions! I love learning more about sewing!!