French Seam Tutorial

If you don’t have access to an overlocker, French Seams are a good way to prevent fabric edges from fraying. They can also be used to give a tidy finish to the seams on an unlined garment.

I’ve found myself doing a lot of these recently, so I thought I’d write up a quick tutorial for them. Hopefully it might be useful to some beginner cosplayers out there!

Step One: Pin the fabric pieces with the right sides facing outwards/wrong sides together. Line up any edges and markings as you normally would.

Step Two: Sew using a straight stitch with a 5mm seam allowance. Most of my patterns have a 10mm seam allowance included, so I’m using half of that. You might need to tweak the maths to suit your patterns. 

Step Three: Trim seam allowance. Bring it as close as you can without compromising the stability of the fabric. This gives us a nice clean edge to work with. The tighter you cut it, the smaller you can make the final seam.

Step Four: Turn garment piece inside out and press the seam. PRESS THE SEAM. It makes the next step easier and tidier. 

Step Five: Pin and sew again using a straight stitch with a 5mm seam allowance. This is using up the remaining 5mm from the total 10mm seam allowance. If you want a smaller seam you could try 7+3=10 for example, or whatever combination suits your measurements :) 

Step 6: Press seam open, and you’re finished! 

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