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Sewing with Silk: French Seams

Video: Threads magazine

When you’re sewing silk, consider the type of seam you sew. Follow along as instructor Katrina Walker explains how to choose an appropriate seam type, and how to sew a French seam, in this episode of the Sewing with Silk video series.

Delicate fabrics often call for specialty seams. They are more practical and more attractive. With silk, you want a seam that supports the fabric, to keep it from being damaged when the garment is worn. A double-stitched seam, or one that encloses the seam allowances, prevents fraying and slippage.

A French seam looks neat on the right side and wrong side. It also protects the seam allowances. If you want to make a charmeuse pillowcase, use a French seam.

Start by sewing the seam with the wrong sides together, using a 1/4-inch-wide seam allowance. Press the allowances to one side, then trim them slightly, to about 1/8 inch wide.

Now turn the fabric layers so they are right sides together, and fold along the previous seamline. Sew again at 1/4 inch. The fabric’s turn of cloth consumes the extra 1/8 inch in the seam allowances. Press the seam allowances to one side, and the seam is done.

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About This Video Series

In this 20-part workshop, textile expert Katrina Walker introduces us to silk fabrics. She covers the gamut from silkworm to crafting beautiful silk garments, so you never need to fear working with this luxury material. Episode topics include sericulture: how silkworms are cultivated, and how the silk filaments are harvested from cocoons. You'll learn about the many categories of woven silk fabrics, including crepes, satins, and jacquards. Katrina also offers advice for matching your fabric…

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  1. OsewViolet | | #1

    I like to trim my seam with a rotary cutter before pressing it to one side. It is quicker and neater looking. I admit it is harder to press the trimmed seam open because it is so small, so I usually always press to one side.

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