Seam Finishes - Sewing A French Seam & More


Hi Everyone! In part 4 we wrap up the topic of seam finishes with a look at two more finishing techniques: French Seams and Felled Seams. You can use these types of finishes in any pattern design, just remember to cut the extra seam allowance if needed to easily work in one of these techniques.


Watch the overview video for this months topic:



Patterns Used For this Topic:

Liberty Jane Mindil Beach Dress (for the sew along)

Other pattern designs that feature the hong kong finish or are a good choice for this type of seam finish:

  • LJ Schoolboy Blazer
  • LJ Hello Oscar
  • LJ Abbey Road

For French Seams, these patterns work well:

  • MVC Rosalie Dress - (includes many of these edge finishes throughout the pattern instructions)
  • LJC Killara Dress (French seams could be used at the shoulder seams and binding the armscye would also work well)
  • LJC Kings Canyon Top (French seams could be used on the raglan seamline)
  • LJC Roebuck Bay Top (French seams could be used at the side seams)

Week Four Task:

  • Watch the Seam Finishes video and follow along as Melinda shows you how to create these types of seam finishes.
  • Practice the techniques on some scrap fabric. Test out a few methods to get really comfortable with the process. Practice it on a scrap fabric as shown in the video, then move to apply that finish to a doll clothes design with 1/4" seam allowance. Tip: A straight seamline will be the easiest to use these techniques (shoulder seams, skirt side seams, etc.)
  • Jump over the SWC Facebook Group for conversation and project sharing.


Here's a tutorial breakdown of how to sew a French Seam:

French seams truly are fabulous. Originally from couture, they're fairly widespread amongst the sewing community -- and for good reason! They wrap the raw seam allowances in fabric, creating a smooth, beautiful finish on the inside of your project. And they aren't nearly as hard as they look!

For this tutorial, I'm using scraps of fabric with a 1/2" seam allowance. You can adapt this technique for almost any seam allowance size, but you will need at least 3/8" to work with. So, if you are using a pattern that has 1/4" seam allowances, like most doll clothes patterns do, just add an extra 1/4" to the edges you'd like to french seam. While you can adapt it to curved seams, straight seams usually yield the best results. 

Start by pinning your two pieces of fabric together, RIGHT SIDES OUT. This is totally backward from normal sewing, so just take a deep breath and keep going!

Sew your first pass at 1/4", then trim the seam down to 1/8". 

Next, press the seam open, and refold the fabric around the seam allowances. Now the WRONG sides should be out, and the right sides should be together, like normal.  Press this new fold flat, being careful to keep the seam at the very edge of the fold.

Pin along your new, folded edge, and stitch again, this time at 1/4". Notice how we've finally used up all of our original 1/2" seam allowance?

Open out your fabric one more time, and press the french seam to one side. Congratulations! You have now officially completed a french seam! 

And from the right side -- who would guess such a beautiful seam lurked beneath? :)

1 Comment

Bettie Barnes
Bettie Barnes

May 01, 2019

French seams are used in smocked clothing for children. It really does make a nice finish on the outside as well as the inside.

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