French Seam Sewing Tips for Your Next Project

Sign in
Duration:   6  mins

When constructing garments, it is important to finish seams so that the inside of a project looks just as professional as the outside. Ashley Hough demonstrates how you can achieve a professional look with French seams.

French Seam

When learning how to sew a French seam, one of the hardest things to remember is that you need to start with the fabric wrong sides together. This is counter intuitive to what you may have learned in general sewing practices; however, Ashley explains why it is necessary. It is also something that can be tricky if the right and wrong sides of your fabric look similar, so you may way to mark the right side of the fabric prior to starting.

Seam Allowances

When constructing a garment, especially one from a commercial pattern, you will be using a ⅝” seam allowance. A French seam is completed by running two separate lines of stitching at different seam allowances that add up to ⅝”. Ashley shows how to sew a French seam starting with a ¼” seam allowance followed by a ⅜” seam allowance. A French seam can also be done in the reverse, starting with the ⅜” seam allowance and then finishing with the ¼” seam allowance. Both will look the same on the right side of the garment; however on the wrong side, one will have a slightly larger enclosed seam.

Other Options

While French seams are a popular choice for stitching enclosed seams when constructing a garment, there are other options as well. Many of these methods require you to finish the seam after construction, like bias-bound seams. And some may even have a different look on the right side of the fabric, like flat-felled seams, which have an extra line of stitching. All methods of enclosed seams will ensure a professional finish to your next project.

Make a comment
  • (will not be published)

8 Responses to “French Seam Sewing Tips for Your Next Project”

  1. Marcia Brooks

    Am I doing something wrong? The camera angle on every video shows the top of the bookcase or some other random shot rather than the demonstration.

    • Customer Service

      Hello Marcia,

      Thank you for contacting us. I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with accessing your benefits. I have checked the video and I am not able to replicate the error you are describing.

      If you are using a mobile device, please delete your internet history. To clear your cache, please click the link below and select the appropriate browser:'s-Cache

      If you are using a computer, please attempt a hard refresh of your browser by pressing and holding Ctrl + F5 on your keyboard.

      If you are on a Mac, please attempt a hard refresh of your browser by holding ⇧ Shift and click the Reload button. Or, hold down ⌘ Cmd and ⇧ Shift key and then press R.

      If you have any other questions, please email or call Customer Service.



      National Sewing Circle

  2. Debra Temoche

    What do you do if your seam allowance is only .25″ and you are working with a knit?

  3. Romulinda

    Then there’s those of us who don’t have a neat way to adjust the needle position on our older machines. I’ve noticed that these videos assume we all have the very latest model with all the bells and whistles—well, we don’t! How about making videos with more reasonably aged machines?

    • Customer Service

      Hello Romunlinda!

      Thank you for your feedback. I have forwarded your comment to the proper department. We value your opinion and it will help with the development of our online streaming community. We will continue to listen and work hard for your complete satisfaction.

      If you have any other questions, please chat, email, or contact Customer Service at 1-855-208-7187.

      We greatly appreciate your business!


      National Sewing Circle Video Membership

  4. Jodie

    Why not sew a 1/4″ seam first then the 3/8″ will enclose it without having to cut??

  5. Lynda

    The correct way to sew a french seam where a 5/8″ seam is desired is to sew the 1/4″ seam first and then the 3/8″. This would eliminate the need to trim except when reducing the seam bulk is needed.

  6. Laurie

    Very nice demo. It may seem like more work, It may actually save work with a fabric that frays easily. And if you don’t have a serger your seams can still look professional. I have used this technique for years.

Get exclusive premium content! Sign up for a membership now!