A French Seams is a concealed seam. It is perfect for sheers, satins, cottons, really any fabric that will easily fray or have fly-away threads. No special skill is needed. It is only a method of applying a seam twice and pressing. I can’t stress enough how important pressing is! It’s the one step most people want to forget altogether, but it can’t be skipped if you want quality results.
Here is what a finished French seam looks like:
1. To begin, French Seams are ALWAYS constructed with the WRONG sides together first. Here, you can see that the right side is up facing me and the wrong sides are together. This first seam should only be 1/4″ and you can tell by looking at the foot gauge how close the needle is to the edge.
2. Open the sides out flat with the inside of the seam facing you and press the seam to one side so it lays flat.
3. Next fold over, so the RIGHT sides are together and the raw seam is not showing, and press the seam again to it won’t shift when sewing the second seam.
4. Sew 1/2″ from the folded edge, to encase the raw seam completely. These two seams will use up the traditional 5/8″ seam space. If your pattern calls for a smaller seam such as 3/8″, either build in the additional 2/8″ needed for the French Seam, or be very scant with your second seam.
5. Open out your sewn fabric and press your finished French Seam to one side. You’re done!
French Seams can be used in any project that you want a nice finished seam, even if the instructions don’t call for them. Be brave and bold, try it out!