Today’s post is a tutorial on stitching a seaming treatment that is good for sheers, fabrics that ravel easily, and light to medium weight fabrics that need a sturdy seam. The finished French seam hides all raw edges, which is an elegant way to make the inside of your garment clean and neat. Today, you may see it in designer and couture garments, but rarely in ready-to-wear clothing. Even though the French seam is easy to sew, it is a seam that you stitch twice. So, it is more time consuming than a simple seam and therefore, not mass-production friendly. Click the image below to see a video showing the French Seam technique or continue reading for the technique steps.
A traditional French seam starts with a quarter inch seam and then, you trim it down to a 1/8” seam allowance – another time-consuming step. Using a patchwork foot lets you precisely stitch the narrow seam allowance and avoid the trimming part. BERNINA has three patchwork feet and each one has two versions – a 5.5 mm stitch width and a 9 mm stitch width. I use Foot #97D on my B 790 PLUS machine but any of the six feet will work for this technique. Precision Tip: When cutting out your pattern, adjust the seam allowance to 3/8”.
Place your fabrics wrong sides together – opposite of the normal way. Place the edges of the fabric next to the inside toe of the patchwork foot. The needle will stitch 1/8” from the edge, giving you a narrow seam allowance. Press the seam to one side and fold the fabric on the seam line, right sides together.
Place the fabric under the needle, aligning the folded edge with the outer edge of the presser foot. This lets the needle stitch 1/4″ from the edge while it is enclosing all of the raw edges of the narrow seam as you stitch. The finished seam looks “normal” on the outside of the project and enclosed on the inside.
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