The Sewing Place

French seam or not...

Francesca

French seam or not...
« on: February 18, 2019, 12:28:04 PM »
... and also, how do you cut them correctly?

I'm about to make a second Reeta dress out of chiffon and was planning to overlock but now I'm considering french seams. The pattern comes with 1cm allowance so not enough but I'm retracing it anyway.

When you do french seams what distances do you sew them at generally? I usually do 1cm, trim, 0.5cm. But in chiffon that might cause problems because I'm concerned the needle plate will stab the fabric down too much if I'm only doing 0.5cm.

So now I'm considering 1.3cm seam allowance and using the quilting 7mm stitch plus the edging quilt foot, trim, then 7mm again so I can follow the edge of the foot, much easier to be accurate.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 13.3m metres

My Blog - Plus Girl Sews // Follow me on Instagram :)

Greybird

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 12:36:51 PM »
I always do 5/8 inch or 1.5cm. You can always cut some off if it proves too much.

BrendaP

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 17:30:52 PM »
French seams require two lines of stitching, the first time inside the total seam allowance with wrong sides together, then it's trimmed, turned and the second line of stitching is right sides together on the seam allowance.

If you are worried about the fabric getting pulled down into the needle plate:
Use a new, fine, sharp needle
If you have a straight stitch plate for the machine use it.
If not, position the needle to the far right so that the maximum amount of fabric goes under the foot.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

toileandtrouble

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 23:28:15 PM »
If you don't have a straight stitch plate,put a strip of sellotape over the wide slit. That will stop the chiffon being dragged down.

Renegade Sewist

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2019, 02:52:20 AM »
Yes yes to what both Brenda and toileandtrouble said. Using some sort of stiffener on the chiffon might be an additional option.
The clever cat eats cheese and breathes down rat holes with baited breath. w.c. fields

b15erk

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 09:03:06 AM »
I've just been sew a fine poly crepe which was very fluid.  Spray starch was good enough to tame it.

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

Greybird

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 09:06:44 AM »
I've just used some poly satin which was very slithery - spray starch did the trick with that too.

Missie

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 10:02:18 AM »
I do mine at 0.9cm, trim it down to a couple of mm from seam and then 0.6mm. Have never had a problem with the fabric being dragged into the machine.

I did once see a dress, I think by Bruce Oldfield, at a V&A exhibition years ago which had a chiffon dress with the tiniest french seam ever, it was about 3mm  :o  Don't think I'd ever be brave enough to try that small!

Kwaaked

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 10:14:13 AM »
I usually cut off my seam allowances and recut them to be what I prefer.  When using french seams, I cut 2 cm, sew the first pass at about 1.5 cm and the second at 5 MM. 

As to cutting, I grade the seam allowances...one side is slightly large then the other.  I press open, then to one side to trim, using 5 inch tailor shears I use just for this purpose.  Fabric...like everyone else, I starch it to an inch of its life.

Now, I'll be honest...I don't actually worry about being overly precise with it.  As long as my seam is enveloped and the seam line is right, I don't worry too much.  Largely because of a YSL top I paid several hundred bucks for that had some of the wonkiest french seams in history on them.  As long as mine are straight, I'm good.

Manuela


Francesca

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 12:06:53 PM »
Oh spray starch, I've got about 6 cans of it of course that'll be perfect.

I do have a straight stitch plate but even so seem to have problems.

I particularly have problems with starting and finishing seams. I can never get the feed dogs to pick up lightweight fabrics and they often just chew and don't move.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 13.3m metres

My Blog - Plus Girl Sews // Follow me on Instagram :)

Manuela

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 12:13:56 PM »
@Francesca, you could start sewing on a patch of fabric, and then just continue over to your actual seam. Apparently, that’s what many darksiders do when piecing. It works a treat on delicate fabrics.

Ploshkin

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2019, 12:17:10 PM »
Quote
I particularly have problems with starting and finishing seams. I can never get the feed dogs to pick up lightweight fabrics and they often just chew and don't move.

It might help if you start off on a scrap of stable cotton fabric and butt the piece you want to sew up to it and run on to it - worth a try.

ETA great minds, I seem to have cross posted with Manuela.
Life's too short for ironing.

Missie

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2019, 13:18:47 PM »
I particularly have problems with starting and finishing seams. I can never get the feed dogs to pick up lightweight fabrics and they often just chew and don't move. 

@Francesca , lay the fabric on a piece of tissue paper so that the tissue extends beyond the fabric, start sewing the seam on the tissue paper and continue onto the fabric and that should solve that problem and you can just tear the tissue paper away afterwards.  When sewing chiffon, I start the seams with a very small stitch to avoid the bulk of the usual reversing at the start of the seam.

Francesca

Re: French seam or not...
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2019, 13:55:56 PM »
I've actually started not reversing at seam edges if I know I'm going to sew over them again very quickly. I find that helps with the chewing. I have to be a bit more careful how I handle things but if I know I'm not going to pull at the seam I find it easier to just not reverse and get a clean start and finish.
Stash Busting 2019
Goal: 100 metres
So far: 13.3m metres

My Blog - Plus Girl Sews // Follow me on Instagram :)