In today’s post, we are going to continue expanding our techniques with one of the most romantic and used seams: French sewing.
The mere act of saying your name when sewing one of our projects adds a glamorous touch to the moment.
Features and uses
- Keeps seam allowances wrapped and polished while joining the two pieces of fabric.
- It is a very resistant seam.
- It is perfect for plain fabrics, with transparencies and in garments with exposed interiors.
- Sometimes, we can avoid putting a lining when the interiors are polished.
- The seams can be made in different widths. The narrow ones are the most popular.
- The standard seam allowance left on a seam that will carry French sewing is 1.5 cm.
The fabric chosen for the tutorial is a semi-transparent polyester gauze with a high level of fraying, qualities that make this fabric an ideal candidate to show the virtues of French sewing.
On and on!
STEP 1 Prepare the tissues
To differentiate the two sides of the fabric and to be able to follow the step by step more visually, we will stick an adhesive mole to the right of each piece. I recommend having sticker sheets in the sewing box, super useful!
- Face the two pieces of gauze inside out.
This step is very important because it is completely the opposite of what we normally do. Stay tuned!
- Place pins lovingly on the edge that we are going to sew.
STEP 2 first seam
- Sew 1 cm from the edge with straight stitching.
- Cut 0.6 cm and leave the seam allowances 0.4 cm wide.
STEP 3 wrap the seam
- Open the pieces with the gauze rights facing up.
- Join right to right, wrapping seam allowances.
- Place pins keeping the wrapped edge flat and equidistant from the folded half.
STEP 4 second seam
At this point, to orient ourselves a little, we will sew on the wrong side of the fabric as usual. The difference is that with this seam we will join and polish at the same time.
- Sew 0.5 cm from the edge, being careful not to sew over the seam allowances between the two layers of gauze.
French sewing ready! Front view with perfect seam allowance transparency, no plucked zigzags, or visible stitches.
And on the reverse, with the seam margins wrapped and hidden soft on contact with the skin.
To get more invisible French seams these have to be:
- With matching thread.
For the following example, we have used matching thread and cut the seam allowances a little more. It may seem that 1 mm is little, but in sewing, the subtlety of these small measurements is very appreciable.
The second seam has been 0.4 cm, the resulting French seam is narrower and more delicate.
So far they have been all roses and flowers, but more than once I have found that the French seam spits small fringes of thread through the front that are nothing more than the edges of the seam margins protruding.
The root of the problem is that the second stitching has been sewn above the wrapped seam allowances. It is necessary to watch at this point, and in the event that the fabric is not transparent, be very strict with the centimeters and not want to make a narrow seam at the last moment.
If we see that the seam is going to be wide, what we have to do is trim the seam allowances more.
We can also make a French seam starting from an overcasting done with the overlock machine. A mix of machines is totally legal and modern!
The overlock stitching has a body and is very thankful to wrap. With the density of threads and transparencies, you can make very interesting combinations.
To start practicing French sewing, you can use easy-to-handle cotton and plain fabrics. Once you have it more by hand, try gauze and organza because in the transparencies is where this technique shows off and is very useful.