Easy Guide on How to Sew a French Seam

Learn how to sew a French seam to give your garment a polished and elegant look.

French seams are the way to go if you’re looking for a specific kind of seam. French seams are a great way to make your garments more durable and last longer.

In this article, we will talk about why French seams are so useful, how to sew a french seam step by step and how you can use them in your next project. 

What is a French Seam?

If you want to know how to make clothes look more professional, you must know about French seams.

A French seam is a way of finishing seams on garments that conceals the raw edges of the fabric. It’s used to prevent fraying, which can occur when sewing two pieces of fabric together.

Why Would You Use French Seam?

French seams are an excellent way to finish off your sewing projects. They offer a professional and polished look, making them perfect for garment sewing.

Here are 5 ways to use French seams to make your project come together. 

French Seams Are Great for Garments That Will Be Washed Often

French Seams are stronger than most hemming techniques because they hold up better under repeated laundering. 

If you have a garment that will be worn on a frequent basis and needs to look crisp and unwrinkled, French Seams may be the best option for you. 

French Seams Can Hide Imperfections in the Fabric

When you sew French Seams, you don’t need to worry about any imperfections in the fabric showing through. The seam will cover them up! 

How to sew a french seam

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This means that even if your fabric has holes or other problems, as long as it’s not too severe (like a hole large enough for a finger), a French Seam will hide them. 

French Seams Add an Element of Elegance to Your Finished Garments

French Seams add an element of elegance to different types of clothes by providing a smooth line along its edge. They also make the garment look more professional overall by making it appear more complicated than it is! 

French Seams Can Add Strength to a Seam

French seams are strong and durable. This makes them perfect for heavy types of fabrics or when you want to add extra strength to a seam to keep it from ripping open over time. 

French seam tutorial

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French Seams Can Create a Smooth Finish on Curved Edges

French seams are great. They also create a very smooth finish on curved edges like necklines and armholes that would be more difficult to sew using other techniques. Learning how to sew a French seam on a curve will be helpful in creating a smooth finish. 

What is the Difference Between the Regular and French Seam?

The difference between the regular and French seam is how each stitch is made.

French seam sewing tutorial

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Here are a couple of points that clear your doubts between regular and French seam.


Regular Seam

French Seam

How is it made?

The regular seam is made by stitching the two pieces of fabric together without any stitching on the inside.

The French seam is made by stitching the two pieces of fabric together and then stitching an extra piece of fabric on the inside to cover up the raw edges.

End Results

The resulting seam is flat and creates a finished edge on both sides.

This creates a clean edge on both sides of your garment that hides any raw edges from view.


It’s great for lightweight or woven fabrics where you want to create a hidden seam.

It’s great for things like clothing or other projects where you need to show off your stitching as little as possible!

How to Sew a French Seam: Supplies You’ll Need

A French seam is a way to finish your seams that hide the raw edges of the fabric. It’s a great option for thick fabrics or if you want something that will be used in an area where it might get wet. 

Sewing supplies in tin can

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Before starting a tutorial on “how to sew a French Seam,” you will need a few sewing supplies. Here are those:

    • Sewing machine with thread and needle
    • Fusible interfacing
    • Iron
    • Pins
    • Ruler
    • Scissors
    • Paper or cardstock
    • Paper clips
    • Iron-on tape
    • Fabric (color of your choice)
    • Pencil 

Step by Step Instructions on How to Do a French Seam on a Sewing Machine

For those of you who have never done a French seam before, it’s one of the most useful ways to finish off a raw edge. 

French seam step by step instructions

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It’s also simple to do on your sewing machine! You need a few pieces of fabric, an iron, and some thread. Follow these steps to start learning “how to do a French seam on a sewing machine”: 

Start With Regular Seam

The first step of our tutorial on “how to do a French seam on a sewing machine” is a regular seam. 

How to sew a french seam by hand

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Sew the two pieces of fabric together using a regular seam, which the French seam will hide. This step can be done with either a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch (a zigzag creates more stretch in the fabric). 

Press the Seam Open With an Iron

Use a press cloth to protect the fabric from scorching. Now, press the seam open, so it lays flat. This will ensure that your fabric doesn’t develop any wrinkles or creases during the next step. You will need to turn the garment inside out to sew a second seam on the wrong side of your garment.

How to hand sew a french seam

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If you don’t press your first seam open enough, you risk leaving marks on your seams when you turn them inside out to sew again later on! 

Press just until smooth and flat—not too much further than that because then you’ll get ridges in your fabric! 

Fold the Fabric

Fold the fabric in half again, so the wrong side shows on the outside. This will give your garment a clean and finished look. 

Sew This Seam at a 3/8 Inch Allowance

The first thing you should do when learning “how to do a french seam in sewing” is to sew the seam at a 3/8 inch allowance.

The size of your seam allowance can vary depending on how thick or thin your fabric is. You must ensure that all of your seams are consistent throughout the garment and that all have the same width. 

How to do a french seam in sewing

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Getting Things in the Right Way

Sewing it straight down the middle of the other seam will help keep everything aligned. You can also choose to learn to sew it in a different way from the first line of stitching. 

This is a great technique if you’re working with particularly thick fabrics or multiple layers and want to be sure that nothing shifts around while you’re sewing.

How to do a french seam in sewing machine

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It’s important not to stress out too much over getting things right here. Here, we’re talking about a seam allowance less than 1/8″ (3 mm) wide! And remember: nobody will ever see this part anyway! 

Trim Your Seam

The last step of the “how to sew a french seam step by step” tutorial is using a seam ripper or scissors to trim excess fabric.

If you are working with a heavyweight fabric, use a rotary cutter to cut off the extra fabric. You can also utilize pinking shears for trimming the seam allowance. 

How to sew a french seam step by step

Image Source: Doina Alexei

Additional Tips to Give Your Garment a Clean and Finished Look

Follow this seam allowance to give your garment a professional touch:

    • Trim the seam allowance to 1/4 inch.
    • Trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch.
    • Trim the seam allowance to 3/8 inches.

How to Sew a French Seam by Hand

In the previous section, you’ve understood how to sew French seams using a sewing machine. What if you don’t own a sewing machine and are comfortable with hand sewing? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Hand sewing a french seam

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This tutorial will show you how to sew a French seam by hand in just a few simple steps!

    • Prepare your fabric
    • Before you begin with this tutorial on “how to sew a French seam by hand,” make sure that the right sides of your fabric are facing each other. Then, fold the pieces in half lengthwise so that they match up in a perfect way.
    • Start stitching a seam along one edge of your fabric to create a seam allowance (the width between where you start and stop stitching).
    • Turn under 1/4 inch on both sides of your seam allowance and press flat with an iron to create a clean edge for sewing over the top later (this will give you more room for error).
    • Pin one side of each piece together with the right sides facing each other, then hand sew them together at ⅛” from the edge using a long basting stitch.
    • Remove pins as you go so they don’t get caught in stitches later.
French seam easy tutorial

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    • If possible, use long thread versus standard white cotton thread since this type tends not to fray as much when used many times as opposed to single strand, which tends to fray around the edges. This makes it harder for stitching machines or the hand sewing process itself less effective than normal.
    • Trim off excess material from both sides.
    • Once you’ve sewn everything together and trimmed off any excess material from both sides of the seam itself, turn over one side of your double-layered fabric. That way, just one layer remains.

The takeaway from this tutorial about French hem sewing is that a french seam is a double seam used to hold two pieces of fabric together. It is not just durable but also quite simple to sew with your hands. If you are sewing for couture garments, this type of finish is 100% recommended. 

French hem sewing

Image Source: Sempstress


Sewing a French seam is a great way to prevent fraying and keep your garments in good condition. It’s also quick and comfortable once you get the hang of it.

The above tutorial has shown you how to sew French seams on sheer fabric or your own garments and other projects. You can use this technique for many projects, such as joining two pieces of fabric together or adding piping or elastic.

Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to create professional-looking seams in no time.

You can also use various types of clothing labels to give a professional look to your handmade clothes. Head to Super Label Store if you want to give a professional and store-bought look to your garment.

We offer a wide variety of woven labels, hang tags, and care labels in different sizes, shapes, and colors so you can find the ideal fit for your sewing project. 

How to label clothes

You will be able to select from different material options, including paper, vinyl, polyester, and other materials, so you can create the look you want for your product.

With Super Label Store’s easy-to-use designing software, you can create your own personalized label designs in just minutes or have them make one for you.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and get started today!