french seam; courtesy of Flickr

French seams are used a lot in shirts, but they are the norm in a lot of purse seams. They are strong and hold fabric together better than a plain seam would. These seams are used when you want a little more durability.

These are the steps to creating a french seam:

  1. Make a straight line 4" from one end of the sample and cut the piece in half along the line.
  2. Mark the stitching line 2/8" (or 1/4") from each cut edge.
  3. Pin the two pieces together matching the stitching lines, with the wrong sides of the fabric facing each other.
  4. Stitch the seam on teh machine, removing the pins as you go and being sure to backstitch at each end.
  5. Press the seam to one side and then the other. Then press the seam open.
  6. Carefully cut away half the seam allowance.
  7. Fold the piece in half along the stitch line with right sides facing each other.
  8. Mark a stitching line 3/8" form each folded edge.
  9. Stitch the seam on the machine, removing the pins as you go and being sure to backstitch at each end.
  10. Press the seam to one side and then flat on the other side.
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