Sewing the Dress: French Seams

The try-out of the French seams in cotton looked very good. Not too bulky.

So handy I did a try-out first because it took a bit of practice to figure out the relation between how wide the seam will be and where to sew.

The gap between the edge of the fabric and my green tape sewing guide is how wide the actual seam is going to be. I will have to cut the fabric even a little smaller than this gap, before folding it.

I started sewing the real fabric! As this is a batic fabric it took a lot of looking and flipping over to determine the right side from the wrong side. But I figured it out. And promptly sewed the left front panel to the right side of the center front panel…
not a darning tool in sight!

So I chose to sew the back panels first, get some more practice at French seams, while my husband picked up a darning tool as he was in the city anyway.

Sewed the first seam of the back panel. Pressed the seam to one side and cut the fabric close to the seam. Scary!
(what a blessing sharp scissors are!)

I then pressed it again and tried to make a neat fold to stitch along. Stitching, using the memory of how narrow the seam is supposed to be:

End result seen from the right side:
it’s a French seam!
I like it. I liked making it and I like the look of it. It’s very neat on the inside. No fraying! (I’m already thinking silk and chiffon and pongĂ©)

I did make a beginners mistake: you see some fraying from the raw egde peeping through. I did not make the seam wide enough at that place or -more probable- I didn’t dare to cut the fabric away so close to the seam.

For the next seam I did not press the seam before cutting the fabric. I found it easier to sew the wrong sides together and then trim directly. Getting more courageous by the minute:
I folded the fabric over and used the darning tool that had by now arrived at my house to make a line in the fabric along it would fold easily:
you see the left side which has already had received a stern pressing with the tip. On the right the seam as is, straight after trimming.
It folded over beautifully, with a crisp fold. I did not use my iron, I just pressed with my fingers.

I took apart the two wrong sewed panels and attached the left one on the left side. For the width of the final seam on the other side of the front panel I laid the dress top close by to get an idea how broad I should make the seam.

you can see the holes that remain from the wrong stitching. It serves as a guide. The finished seam needs to be a little broader so the first stitching of the seam needs to be a little closer to the raw edge. Also: only at the very top needs this line to be so precise in order to match the lines of the bodice.

I stitched it by eye. Now front and back of the skirt are in possession of French seams!

(I forgot to take a final picture of the lining up of the lines -I’m not even sure they do!- I just cut the threads and went to have a sit down and blog about it. By now you have probably figured out that I’m working with brain fog many a day, what with all the silly mistakes I make and things I forget. You’d be correct. It is caused by Adrenal Fatigue and sleep depravation. It’s OK. I’m a stumble bumble bee but I get there eventually)


2 thoughts on “Sewing the Dress: French Seams

    • but you ARE sewing the wrong side of the fabric: on the right side! I’m glad I’m using batic… I can convince myself I probably have the fabric wrong side up anyway.

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