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  • French Seams

    Hello
    been away but i am back again,well i havent been away,i have been here,that is my here and not your here getit.Anyway french seams on garments is there a definative allowance to leave. I leave 15mm but the seam seam to be a bit large,no body has said anything it is just me and i is thinking of the next dress i make which is two garments down the line whether to make them smaller so was wandering what others have done.
    Blimey lot of words to ask a question init.
    Glenvill
    my spelling is still cxxxx and no spell checkerhttp://www.etsy.com/shop/glenvilles
    or have a look at my blog which is
    glenvillesstyle blogspot
    Laugh as long and as loud as you can,because you can
    http://www.glenvillesstyle.co.uk

  • #2
    French seams are used on particularly fine/delicate fabrics because of the risk of tearing. So when I make them, I use a 1/4" seam allowance for the first seam and then using pinking shears, cut away the excess (deep breath and be brave when you do it). Then iron the seam flat and sew a seam of 3/8"... so this is your classic 5/8" seam allowance...remember when you are piecing together to iron sides seams to the back and other seams to the middle.

    Others will tell you that I am passionate about irons... ironing your work at each stage will ensure a great finish and reduce bulk... the moment you get your fabric out, switch on your iron and you will not go far wrong.
    Blog: http://rosmademe.blogspot.com

    Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RosMadeMe

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    • #3
      If you can afford it an overlocker will help. If you use it for your first line of stitching then you will only have a 5mm seam to finish with your ordinary sewing machine. Bear in mind though that it cuts as it sews so you have to be accurate and it is really awkward to unpick - it is actually easier to re-sew with the overlocker or cut off the stitching.

      Melanie

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      • #4
        I agree with Ros, iron, iron, iron, and I too trim my first seam but don't possess pinking shears, wish I did. I also wish I had an overlocker like Melanie, sigh. Oh well, can't have everything in this life. Don't forget piccys of your makes, love to see them.
        Carol
        God helps them that help themselves.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by silvermaid View Post
          If you can afford it an overlocker will help. If you use it for your first line of stitching then you will only have a 5mm seam to finish with your ordinary sewing machine. Bear in mind though that it cuts as it sews so you have to be accurate and it is really awkward to unpick - it is actually easier to re-sew with the overlocker or cut off the stitching.

          Melanie
          Melanie, understand what you are saying about using an overlocker but unfortunately it is often too vigorous for delicate fabrics and will end up tearing the fabric as it whips the seam. There really are times when a french seam is best to achieve a really great finish.
          Blog: http://rosmademe.blogspot.com

          Website: www.etsy.com/shop/RosMadeMe

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          • #6
            When I was a little girl at school 50 years ago they made us sew in half an inch from the edge, fold over (definately iron it) and sew again. Boy is that cloncky!
            When I was a new mother 30 years ago I read and did sew half an inch in but trim it back to a quarter inch, fold and sew. Does that fit in with metric commercial seam allowance, maybe?
            When I was an old mother, 15 years ago, I got taught to make my own patterns (we were trying to reconstruct historical clothing) I started sewing with a vengenge and I draw half inch seam allowances round my patterns. This was to mimic the originals that had tiny seam allowances even down to a quarter of an inch. So now if I'm French seaming it's sew a quarter inch from the edge, fold and sew again.
            I have to say I have a friend who can do the eigth of an inch trick on her machine. I bow down in awe to her.

            So - the rules of sew club are there are no rules. (I was going to add apart from the iron it one but with linen you can make a crisp fold with your fingers. )

            Just bear in mind your last sewing line must line up with the sewing line on your pattern piece. Then it's do what you prefer. Play off ease of sewing against high haut couture skills and a beautiful end look.

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            • #7
              All great advice contained above: I can only add a new sharp needle on such fine fabric
              If you dont have a go ................... you will never know

              https://www.facebook.com/HatPiece

              www.HatPiece.co.uk

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              • #8
                Na overlocker will make the seam even bulkier don t want that,but thank you
                Laugh as long and as loud as you can,because you can
                http://www.glenvillesstyle.co.uk

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                • #9
                  Yep do all of that fankee mam
                  Glenville
                  Laugh as long and as loud as you can,because you can
                  http://www.glenvillesstyle.co.uk

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