Since the yoked top I was working on the last few weeks was all french seams, I thought I would walk you guys through how to do them. They seem fancy and they give a beautiful finish to the inside of your garment, but they’re incredibly easy to do. It takes a little bit of extra time, but especially if you’re working with a fabric that shreds and frays a lot, it makes such a difference in the end product.
Now, like I said, these are crazy easy to do. If you can sew a straight line and not burn yourself when you use the iron (or hey, even just mildly burn yourself) I promise you can make French seams.
We’re going to start by placing the WRONG sides of the fabric together and stitching about 1/4″ from the edge. If you’ve been sewing for a while this is going to feel like you’re committing a cardinal sin, but cool it Betsy Ross, it’ll all be okay.
Next, you want to take some good, sharp scissors and trim your seam allowance closely to the seam you just stitched. Obviously don’t clip it so close that the stitches immediately fall out, but don’t worry too much about it, because any tension on the seam from wearing is going to be on the next seam we sew, not the one you’re trimming. You want to make sure you don’t leave too much seam allowance because if you do you’ll wind up with bits of fabric sticking out of your finished seam and looking ugly, like this:
Once your seam allowance is trimmed, heat up your iron and press the seam flat with RIGHT sides together. Then sew a second seam 3/8″ from your ironed fold. (These measurements will make a 5/8″ seam, btw, for those who aren’t wild about math)
Finally, take your piece back to the ironing board and press the seam open and flat, pushing the enclosed seam allowance to one side.