Technique in Focus: Flat-Fell Seams

ruffledcollarshirt Technique in Focus: Flat Fell SeamsDid you happen to catch this lovely ruffled collar shirt by Linda Reynolds in the latest issue of Sew News? The ruffle technique provides interest, dimension and loads of feminine style to the classic button-down. The blouse also employs some high-end techniques, including flat-fell seams.

Flat-fell seams are useful on a number of occasions: when making classic tailored shirts, sewing jeans, creating totes, jackets or other unlined items, whenever a durable, smooth overall effect is needed. A flat-fell seams is a flat, sturdy seam finish that prevents fabric from raveling. Use a flat-fell seam for all shirt body seams, including the shoulders, side seams and sleeves. Because a circular armscye is difficult to stitch evenly using a flat-fell finish, a French seams or serge finich are acceptable alternatives. Specialized flat-fell sewing machine feet that fold and encase the trimmed allowance in one step are available, and while this may speed up a process, a tidy-flat-fell seam can also be constructed manually.

flatfellseam Technique in Focus: Flat Fell Seams

Using a 5/8″ seam allowance, stitch the seam with right sides together. Press the seam allowance toward the shirt back. Trim the lower seam allowance to a scant 1/4″. If you’re using a flat-fell foot, install it and finish the seam.

To create the seam manually, press the upper seam allowance raw edge under 1/4″ toward the wrong side. Enclose the lower seam allowance in the fold. Stitch close to the upper seam allowance folded edge. This stitching line will be visible on the shirt right side, so stitch slowly and evenly.

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Note: Material appeared in Plackets & Seams by Claire Meldrum, Sew News 2010.

 Technique in Focus: Flat Fell Seams
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