Jen Walker's step-by-step guide to French seams

Hello again Brother readers! I thought I’d drop by with another blog post – this time I felt compelled to share my love of the queen of all of the seam finishes – the French seam.

If you haven’t come across French seams before, they are used mostly on fabrics which are lightweight, sheer, slippery or fray easily - perfect for all of those floaty, gorgeous, spring and summer makes!

The final finish on a French seam will encapsulate the raw edge of fabric and give an oh-so-neat look! Previously, I had avoided using this seam finish as it felt like a lot of hard work when I could easily just use my overlocker to give a nice, clean and professional finish. But I need to tell you that it really is worth that little bit extra effort. You won’t be able to stop staring at the beauty of the inside of your clothes – trust me!

Sounds great right? So how do you go about making them? It really is a lot simpler than some people think so please don’t be scared off! 

To help, I have broken this down into these bite-sized steps, so if this is your first ever French seam there's plenty of direction!

Step 1
Place your seam edges together as you normally would, but wrong sides of fabric together. Pin in place.

Step 2
Sew the seam as you normally would, but with a small 2/8” (5mm) seam allowance.

Step 3
Give those raw seam edges a little trim (aka grading). Try to cut nice and short, but be careful not to cut into your beautiful stitching! Pinking shears would be ideal for this step, but not essential.

Step 4
Give your small seam allowance a press to one side. Fold your fabric over so that right sides are together, then press your new seam nice and flat. You will start to see it coming together!

Step 5
With your pattern pieces still right sides together, pin your new seam edge in place so that it is secure for your next instalment of sewing.

Step 6
Then stitch in place using a 3/8” (or 10mm) seam allowance. You should notice that you have now fully enveloped those raw edges of fabric.

Step 7
And now for the most satisfying of all of these steps. Press that gorgeous seam you have just created – stand back and admire!

I recently had a crack at French seaming this gorgeous, floaty dress, getting me all set for the remainder of 2019's sunshine. I can’t wait to swish and twirl my way around in this! The pattern is Vogue 9311 and I used this beautiful fabric from Sew Essential.

I hope this little feature has helped fire some inspiration for tackling some of those trickier fabrics in 2019.

Good luck!

Jen x