A Flat Fell Seam is the way of finishing off a seam so the raw edges are hidden. Not only does it make the inside of a garment look wonderful, it prevents fraying and extends the life of the seam. It is commonly used on the inside of pants and on nice shirts. Once you get the hang of them, they are very easy to do. They can be used on seams with slight curves, but are not meant for highly curved seams. Just a word of warning… once you see how nice a Flat Fell Seam finishes up a project, you’ll be addicted!
1] With wrong sides together, pin two pieces of fabric together. (NOTE: Normally when sewing, we pin right sides together so the unfinished seam is on the inside. When making your Flat Fell Seam the unfinished seam will be on the outside.)
2] Sew the two pieces together using a 5/8” seam allowance.
3] On 1 seam allowance, draw a line 1/4″ away from the stitching line.
4] Clip along this line. (HINT: It is imperative that you only cut the seam allowance you marked. DO NOT CUT both seam allowances. I find it very handy to pin the unmarked seam allowance against the 2 pieces of fabric so there is no chance of accidentally cutting it. If you cut the other seam allowance you cannot make a Flat Fell Seam!)
5] Press the seam flat so the uncut seam allowance covers the trimmed seam allowance.
6] Turn the uncut seam allowance over the cut seam allowance. Press. The cut seam allowance should be “trapped” inside the folded over uncut seam allowance.
7] From the right side, pin the folded seam down.
8] Topstitch close to the fold line.
Finished outside and inside of Flat Fell Seam.
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