Sunday, September 27, 2009
French Seams -- American Style
For the uninitiated: French seams are a beautiful seam treatment used for very fine and sheer fabrics that might ravel, weaken with use and/or show through sheer fabrics. It is a double-stitched seam that encases the seam allowance in itself.
The traditional way to construct one is to sew the pieces wrong sides together, then trim the seam allowance very close to the stitching, turn to right sides together, and stitch again. It does produce a beautiful finish, that is quite strong, while appearing very delicate. The process takes 3-4 times as long as a traditional 301 butterfly seam, and is a bit tedious.
Thanks to a serger method for making French seams that I learned from Serger Secrets (ISBN # 1-57954-464-9) I now whiz through French seams!
Here's all you do:
Using your serger, serge the wrong sides together with a narrow rolled hem, leaving a 6in tail, fore and aft. Then, on your sewing machine, equipped with a zipper foot, stitch right sides together, holding the serger tails taut. Viola! A very narrow, strong French seam with NO trimming. [I can't tell you how many pieces of thin silk I have had to re-stitch because I trimmed a tad too close!] Beautiful, non???