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How To: Sew a Quick Flat-Felled Seam

How To: Sew a Quick Flat-Felled Seam

Flat-fell (or felled) seams are one of the workhorses of the fashion world. They are strong, yet attractive and work well for a variety of applications. Most people think of denim jeans when they think of flat-fell seams but this tidy seam-and-finish in one also lends itself well to other projects. I use it on silks, especially on home dec projects or casual jackets that will not be lined.

Traditionally, flat-fell seams are made using a flat-fell foot and one of the seam allowances is trimmed away. I will show you how to make a flat-fell seam using standard presser feet and an untrimmed 5/8" seam allowance. This simple technique has been taught and demonstrated by many sewing experts including Margaret Islander and Claire Schaeffer.

Step One:

Press a 1/2" fold along seam allowance from right side towards wrong side (the folded edge will become the edge of the seam).

Step Two:

Insert second seam allowance into fold, butting up against folded edge, wrong sides together.

Step Three:

Stitch 3/8" away from folded edge. An adjustable edge guide foot works really well for this. Note: do not worry if you miss any of the raw edge of the folded seam allowance. What matters is that your stitching remains consistently 3/8" from the folded edge.

Step Four:

Lay item flat on ironing board, right sides up, turn and press seam so that underside/raw edges are concealed.

Step Five:

Edgestitch along folded edge. I like to use the blind hem or edgestitch feet for this.

That's it! No trimming necessary! Wasn't that easy? If you are working on a curve, you may need to clip the folded seam allowance. Be sure not to clip through the folded edge.

Here's what the finished seam looks like:

Front View

Back View

Of course, you can choose to construct the seam with either side to the front - it's up to you!

--Katrina

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