Technique Tuesdays: French Seams

August 31, 2010

Photo via: Fresh Lemons

Some of you may have heard of French Seams but didn't really know what they were or how they differed from regular seams.

Well, DON'T be intimidated JUST because they're called 'french'. They are really simple.

If you don't have a serger, they are just another way to make the seams of transparent fabrics where the seams can be seen from the outside or used for fabrics that fray easily.
I'll have to show you the Hong Kong seam next. It's a very refined look. And I know a couple of you have asked for a bias tape tutorial. I will try and work on that. For a professional look, it will take a couple things I don't have. I want to you show you how to do it with a bias tape foot, which I'm REALLY excited to try out. But I'll also show you how to do it with the bare essentials.

Stay tuned for Tuesday's Frock by Friday post later today.

If you liked this tutorial please Stumble It:

32 {comments}:

no2pesnel said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks for this. I'm really looking forward to learning Hong Kong seams and the bias tape tutorials. Yay!

strawberry_fields said... Best Blogger Tips
This comment has been removed by the author.
strawberry_fields said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, this was very helpful. Thank you!

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

I just learned how to do these for a gored skirt! LOVE IT!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said... Best Blogger Tips

I love french seams! I don't own a serger so it's how I sew most things.

jhelene said... Best Blogger Tips

I am almost addicted to using french seams. I think they just look nice! I am looking forward to a hong kong seam tutorial!

Ruth @ Hammer and Thread said... Best Blogger Tips

Very cool. I had never heard of that technique

lola said... Best Blogger Tips

I love it how you explain so easily the techniques, it's really helpful!
but I have 1 question, the frenck seams, for what did you use them? do you use them for skirts?dresses?pants? other things?

lola said... Best Blogger Tips

of course I mean the french seams

Acire said... Best Blogger Tips

I love french seams as well. As long as my fabric is thin enough (so that french seams won't bulk it up too much) I use them. I've found that they are great for children's clothes. French seams sewn flat are just about as durable as you can get, and also the best for comfort. I personally think they look much tidier than those finished with a serger, but they take a lot longer.

Alison said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks! Love these posts. I have always wondered how to do a french seam. This was so easy to understand - not like all those "great" instructions that come with my patterns. :)

juliette said... Best Blogger Tips

ok this was great, many thanks! all this time I knew I was doing 'french' seams in a funny way, but now I have figured out what I was doing wrong, lol. This is what happens when a native English speaker suddenly tries to pick up sewing while living overseas!

Christina said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much! Your tutorials make everything so easy!

Darci said... Best Blogger Tips

Great tute! I'd been doing it wrong for SO long! This was totally helpful.

In videocamera land, have you considered a Gorillapod? It might help give you an extra hand when you're taping your fab tutes: http://joby.com/gorillapod

rhilborn said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much! I knew what french seams where but not how easy it is to accomplish:). One question, do you adjust your seam allowance if you're working with a pattern? If so, how much do you add?

Beth said... Best Blogger Tips

I heart your video tutorials. thank you thank you thank you. if I can get my act together i really want to join in the frock by friday- looks so fun and love the dresses you've made so far.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

Lola,
People use them a lot when they are using a sheer fabric that you can see through, if you don't want frayed seams showing. You can also use them if you want a durable neat seam. It is more time consuming though.

Kathleen Frances said... Best Blogger Tips

rhilborn,
I'd add an extra 5/8".

Maggie said... Best Blogger Tips

I love your technique tuesdays, thanks! especially the differentt machine feet and what you can do with them.

Hi, my name is Judy. said... Best Blogger Tips

This is so great! I was also wondering about adding to the seam allowance. I will try it on my next pattern!

Sabr said... Best Blogger Tips

Honestly, I like the french seam better than a sergered edge.

Michelle said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a tutorial on how to make continual bias binding here if you are interested:
http://readthread.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/continually-biased/

Jessie said... Best Blogger Tips

You rock! Thank you so much for all your tutorials. I learn something every time!

Tracie and Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips

I have done that before...never knew what it was called. I only did it because it seemed sturdier when I was making a baby carrier. Only difference I topped stitched it afterward. Nice to have a name for it now! Looking forward to Hong Kong stitch!

Love and Hugs, Jess
PS your house sounds like mine when I sew! Only for whatever reason mine are like 10x louder!

Miss Pelicano said... Best Blogger Tips

I love French Seams! Looking forward to the Hong Kong version.

RandomWonders said... Best Blogger Tips

Love this! Thanks for sharing :)

Jo - To a Pretty Life said... Best Blogger Tips

I love doing french seams. I've never heard of hong kong seams though, so I can't wait for that tutorial.

Galimamphigouri said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm a French home seamtress, and I know this technique, and you're right when you say not to be "intimidated JUST because they're called 'french'", and you know why?
In French, this technique is called "couture anglaise" (English seam): that's funny, isn't it?
I'll look at this Hong Kong seam with pleasure since I don't know it...

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

DO you know the funniest thing of the french seams? In french, they are callled english seams ^^

EvaBabeDesigns said... Best Blogger Tips

I love my serger but I also am partial to the lovely finished enclosed look of the french seam.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Awesome tutorial. Thank you so much! I will have to try this on my little girls clothing.

doddroad said... Best Blogger Tips

This is so great. I just started sewing this year and was taught to use pinking shears--those seams still fray. Can't wait to try these french seams.lu

 
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