11 May 2010

French Seams - Magnifique!

The "Better Late than Never" Dress is coming along nicely.  Looks like I won't be naked at Prom.  Hey wait, I'm pretty sure I had a dream like that once.  Scary.

I like my formal wear to have a flawless inside finish, but I am pressed for time on this project, so I will be doing some serged finishes on the silk charmeuse lining.  However, I refuse to have a messy looking seams on the exterior silk chiffon fabric.  Nothing is tackier than a fraying or serged seam showing through a sheer formal wear fabric.  So, I took the extra bit of time required to employ some beautiful French seams.

Although I have done a tutorial in the past on how to create a French seam, I thought I would show some real live action shots of a French seam in progress.  Be prepared to be dazzled:

Place fabric wrong sides together and sew a 1/4" seam.  Trim the seam to an 1/8". This removes any loose fibres and cleans up the edge nicely.

Press the stitches flat to meld the thread into the fabric.  Then, press the seam to one side (it is pressed upward in the picture below).  Alternatively, press the seam open if the fabric allows.  On this silk chiffon, pressing the seam open was tantamount to herding cats, so I took the path of least resistance and pressed to one side.

Turn the fabric so it is right sides together.  Pin along the edge. Stitch a 3/8" seam.  This will encase the first line of stitching, creating a strong, neat seam, in which all raw edges are encased (you can see the encased raw edge if you look closely at the picture below). 

Press the seam to one side or the other (the seam is pressed downward in the picture below).

Admire your handiwork from the right side.  Beautiful!

15 comments:

Nancy K said...

Glad you see that you are progressing. I love French seams. So neat and beautiful.

Elaray said...

Beautiful, indeed!

Debbie Cook said...

Yep, beautiful. You crack me up!

Branka said...

God bless you sister, i needed this tutorial and you explained it so well, finaly i get it thank you!!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

Okay I'm getting antsy to see the dress...and these french seams are just teasing me!

Trudy Callan said...

Beautifully done. You are so right that a French seam is a must on the outer sheer layer.

And thank you so much for your condolences for my family and I during our time of loss.

Stacy said...

Ooooh la la! I am loving zee French seams!

Sigrid said...

This is such a beautiful finish. Looking forward to your dress.

Heather said...

This is a beautiful seam for sure.
I love the saying "herding cats" lol.

meredithp said...

Beautiful seams. Anxiously awaiting finished dress.

Really, all you need to herd cats is FOOD! French seams are a lot harder ;-)

Faye Lewis said...

Thanks girl. I've done them before, but still a little intimidated by them.

Becky said...

I've done French seams before, but you had some great tips that I haven't thought of! Saved this to my Evernote files and I'm sure I'll be using it in the future!

Denise@thebluegardenia.com said...

I love French seams! Thank you for the lesson. I need it. Do you have a lesson on hemming when the skirt is shorter than planned?

Tany said...

Beautifully done!!

Anonymous said...

For some reason I've been nervous of the french seam... how hopeless is that. Gotta get onto it and your tute makes it look so easy. Thank you.