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Do You Sew Flat-Felled Seams on the Right Side or Wrong Side?

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Flat-felled seams are usually sewn on the outside of a classic denim jacket, as shown at left. The opposite side of the flat-felled seam, at right, reveals a seamline and a stitched line that holds the seam allowances down.

Flat-felled seams are among the most common seam finishes in traditional menswear.

But if you’ve ever sewn menswear or examined men’s garments, you’ll notice something curious about flat-felled seams: Sometimes they’re sewn on the inside of the garment, and sometimes they’re sewn on the outside.

Whichever side flat-felled seams are sewn on, their construction is the same, and they are equally strong wherever they appear. So why the different placements?

It’s worth stating from the outset that while there are traditions in garment construction, you, as the designer/sewer, are allowed to do whatever you like. That’s one of the benefits of sewing your own clothes.

In my opinion, when it comes to menswear especially, most of us want our home-sewn garments to appear constructed as much like ready-to-wear (or factory-sewn) clothing as possible. There’s more wiggle room in women’s styles, with less…

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