A Tutorial For Sewing A French Seam

If you decide not to use an overlocker, a French Seam is a great way of hiding the raw edges of your fabric. I prefer french seaming to overlocking, the seams are strong and very neat inside and out. They work best on woven, light to medium material such as cotton lawn, chambray, poplins, cotton voile, organza fabric, chiffon and all dress material which is not bulky. The french seam works well on fabrics that are less slippery. Take a look at the tutorial below for a step by step guide.

French Seam Tutorial

The French Seam works best with a 1.5 cm seam allowance.

Sew fabric with the WRONG sides together and stitch your first seam with 0.6 cm (3/8″)  from the cut fabric edge:

Trim your fabric edge to a few millimetres but be careful not to cut too close to the stitching:

Press the seam allowance to one side:

Fold your fabric so now the RIGHT fabric sides are together, then press the seam flat and sew 0.8 cm (5/8″) from the pressed edge:


You have created a beautiful french seam!



Press your seam open and your french seam is finished:


You can topstitch the seam if you want and you can use the same method for sewing curved seams such as armholes.

I made the Tilly and the Buttons Rosa Shirt in this pretty Spring Serenade Cotton lawn. The Rosa Shirt & Dress Pattern has many vertical and some horizontal seams, I find that french seams work very well in the cotton lawn fabric.



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