Thursday, January 11, 2007

Seams Ala French

The little red dress is on the machine again, this time going for the French seams. Begin by pinning the WRONG sides together at the side seams:

This next photo shows just how skinny this first seam will be. I will only take up the width of the fabric peeking out from under the measuring tape. We're talking teeny-tiny here, between 1/8" and 1/4":

Stitching the seam, with the needle in the far right position. Line up the right edge of the presser foot with the edge of the fabric, and away we go!

Why, yes dear, I did notice all those smocking threads hanging out there! Why, you ask? Because I am going to stitch that seam, sewing those little devils down for good, before I whack them off! Seams stitched, whack! whack!

Another shot of those skinny little seams:

Now press it to one side (any side, doesn't matter, but I usually go towards the back). Turn it and press it again. Stitch it together using 3/8" seam with the right sides together. Done!

Now for the hem. Measure and mark a 2" hem. Measured:

And marked:

Now turn the hem up with WRONG sides together and pin. Stitch on the center front line (the creased line in the photo):

After stitching, trim just the hem allowance to 1/4". Leave the seam allowance on the front facing side--it adds body and a more "solid" look to the finished product.

Turn and press, and this is the result, seen from the side. Click for a larger view:

Which gives a much neater, more professional finish than if I had done it this way, which is the method most commonly used (or misused, as the case may be):

The opening edges are often seen on garments. Why not choose a method that gives the cleanest looking results, eliminating hand sewing where possible?

And I almost forgot to show you the bloomers!

Oh, waiter? Could I order some elastic now?

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