Handmaker's Factory

Index Card Tutorial - Flat Felled Seam

In partnership with the Handmaker's Factory, I am thrilled to offer a new column: Index Card Tutorials for experienced and beginner sewers! 
Here's the scoop: I have been sewing for years, but often there are several techniques that I don't do on the regular. So, to help me remember how to insert that lapped zipper or do that blind hem that the pattern calls for, I'm organizing my sewing notes into quick-reference visual tutorials, which I'm calling "Index Card Tutorials." The experienced sewer can quickly scan through and remember where they left off, while the beginner will benefit from the accompanying full-length instructions. This is a project I've been wanting to do for a while, and I hope it will help you as much as it does me!
To start things off, I'm going to be focusing on a few seam finishes, and this month is the flat-felled seam - no specialty foot needed!
MADE- Flat-Felled Seam Tutorial
Step 1: Right sides together, sew your seam as you normally would, with a 5/8" seam allowance (or what the pattern calls for). Then, trim one side of the seam allowance so that it is half the width of the other.
Step 2: Fold and press the wider seam allowance over the narrower one, so that it encases the raw edge of the narrow one.
Step 3: Fold and press the folded seam allowance over one more time so that the raw edge of the wider one is facing the fabric. The narrow one is now encased by the wider one, with the raw edge of the wider one facing the fabric near the original stitching line. 
Step 4: Sew along the edge the seam allowance, about 3/8" from the original stitching line (for 5/8" seam). You now have a flat-felled seam!
Variation: To sew the flat felled seam so that the two stitch lines are on the outside of the fabric, as is common on jeans, sew your seam with wrong sides of the fabric together instead of right sides together.
Note: This version of the flat-felled seam is the most common one done by home sewers. It is often called the faux flat-felled seam because it varies from the version done on most ready-to-wear garments. You can find a great tutorial for the industrial flat-felled seam here

Meg is nonprofit nerd who sews and knits on the nights and weekends because, as she likes to say, you can't wear a thesis! Along the way she's knit scarves in the Andes and sewed up dresses in Mexico City. She currently resides near San Francisco, CA, and you can find her at megmadethis.blogspot.com.

Meg pic

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