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personalized gifts for him for birthday Machine Sewn Seam Finishes - Mock French Seam and French Wrapped Seam - Part 3 of 4 sofa pillow covers
Updated: 2019-09-23 18:57

One of the hallmarks of a professional job is when the inside of your project looks as great as the outside. We have a full four-part series, and this tutorial (number 3 of 4) reviews a couple of the more unique options: the mock (or false) French seam and the French wrapped seam. The mock French seam uses a standard straight stitch, the French wrapped seam takes the straight stitch in combination with a zig zag stitch. These are basic stitches you'll find on any sewing machine, which means there’s no reason not to incorporate them into your seam finishes toolbox.?

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Similar to the French seam we discussed in Part 2 of 4, these two seam finishes also come to us by way of fine couture and heirloom garment sewing. However, they are beautiful options that can just as easily be applied to home décorpersonalized gifts for him for birthday, accessories, casual wearables, and more. They're also a good alternative when you need a reinforced seam finish for durability.

All the reasons for using a traditional French seam?finish are the same for a mock French seam or French wrapped seam: sheer fabric, ravel-prone fabric, or simply because it creates a clean, professional look.

There are two primary differences. One, the manner in which you sew a mock French seam or French wrapped seam is much easier and a bit faster. And, two, in the tutorial on traditional French seams, we stressed it was not a finish suitable for areas with a curve, such as armholes. Conversely, mock French seams and French wrapped seams are wonderful for curves, which is the primary reason you may have come across them in fine garment sewing. In addition, French wrapped seams are generally thought to be the best finish for lace and/or embroidered fabric.

Accurate seam allowance is always important. Similar to the regular French seam, the mock French seam can be sewn using either a ?" garment seam allowance or ?" home décor (and accessory) seam allowance. Quilting typically uses a ?" seam allowance, but is not traditionally a category for which seam finishing is a hot topic, because your seams are hidden within the quilting layers.?

The important thing to remember with either of the techniques profiled here is that you'll be trimming away a portion of the seam allowance (again, similar to the regular French seam). Ultimately, the smaller seam allowance is what makes them ideal for curved areas where you want the look of a French seam. It’s also necessary to trim away some of the seam allowance to eliminate bulk, especially if you are using a medium to heavyweight fabric. We'll look more closely at this in the actual steps for each technique below, as they vary slightly.

Needle and thread appropriate for your selected fabric type

Standard foot – the one on your machine when you took it out of the box.

Seam gaugeand/or clear ruler?

Sharp scissors

Iron and ironing board. Pressing is a big part of all the French seam techniques!


Sample Creation and Instructional Outline: Jodi Kelly

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Todd Selby//The Selby