How to Sew  French Seams

How to Sew French Seams: 5/8" Seam Allowance

Bring the WRONG sides of your fabric together. Pin as needed. Mark a 1/4" line (or use your machine to guide you).

Stitch the 1/4" line.

Note: Use matching thread. Contrasting is used for visibility here.

Open the fabric and press the seam towards the back of your project.

Reverse the fabric and iron the reverse as well.

Fold the fabric RIGHT sides together and press evenly. Don't allow the seam to become off center.

Stitch a 3/8" seam using your machine to guide you. Pin as needed.

This seam will completely enclose the prior seam.

Press seam towards the back of the project.

Briefly press the seam open on the front side of the project too.

Finished product:

Note: You can also sew the FIRST seam at a 3/8" allowance, trim to 1/8", and sew SECOND seam at 1/4" for even less bulk. I like avoiding all the extra trimming, so that's why I do it the way previously shown.

How to Sew French Seams: 1/2" Seam Allowance

Bring fabric WRONG sides together, pin as needed, mark a 1/4" seam line.

Stitch 1/4" seam.

Finished seam. Use matching thread (contrasting used here for visibility).

Carefully trim seam to 1/8".

Press seam towards back of project.

Press the reverse of the fabric briefly.

Fold the RIGHT sides of the fabric together and press.

Mark a 1/4" seam line.


Finished seam--completely enclosed and neat.

Press seam towards back of project.

Press the front as needed.

Use French seams anytime you need neat enclosed seams. Or for delicate fabrics. It's such a handy technique!

Visit my blog post for extra tips & tricks for sewing French seams!