Tuesday, January 18, 2011

French Seams Anyone?

For the little dress I decided on French seams.  When sewing by hand French seams have several advantages.  First, I never have to sew through more then two layers.  Second, the seam allowances are controlled without making tedious whip stitches.  So here's the process.

First, I sewed a seam with the wrong sides of the fabric held together.  That's right.  Unlike most seams, this starts with the wrong sides held together.  Since the pattern includes 3/8 inch seams allowances, I sewed a 1/8 inch seam.

I then turned the dress inside out and pressed the seam open.

Next, I folded the work on the seam line with right sides together. The seam allowances are sandwiched in between now.

Finally, I sewed a 1/4 inch seam, encasing the seam allowances.

I used two different stitches when sewing the seams.  Since the first seam is not the primary seam, I used a simple running stitch.  For the second seam I could have used a backstitch, but my running stitch is quite strong, so I compromised.  I took three running stitches on my needle at a time and alternated with a backstitch to reinforce the seam.  This is a technique that quilters often use.

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