How To Sew a French Seam

French seams are commonly used to finish the seams of garments sewn in sheer or light weight fabrics such as silk and chiffon.  French seams produce a professional clean look to a garment while protecting the seam from fraying or showing through to the right side if it is made of a sheer fabric.  This seam finish can also be used in garments made of light to medium weight fabrics for a ‘couture-like’ finish on the inside.

This seam finish produces an enclosed or self -finished seam with no exposed seam allowance edge and is found in couture sewing.

STEP 1:  Pin the WRONG sides of your fabric together and stitch the seam.

  • For a 1/2 inch (12mm) seam allowance – sew 1/4 inch (6mm) from the edge.
  • For a 5/8 inch (1.5cm) seam allowance – sew 3/8 inch (10mm) from the edge.artboard-1artboard-2
    STEP 2:  Trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch (3mm).   STEP 3:  Press open the trimmed seam allowance.
    STEP 4:  Turn the fabric so the RIGHT sides of your fabric are together and press the seam on the edge.artboard-4

STEP 5:  Sew the seam again 1/4 inch from the folded seam edge. The previous seam allowance will be encased in the fold of the new seam.

STEP 6:  Press the seam allowance to one side.  Flip your fabric over and give the seam a final press.



The french seam finish gives a very clean and professional look to any garment.  Also see my tutorial on a ‘mock’ french seam.

Happy Sewing!

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