Flat Fell Seam Tutorial

Flat Fell Seam Tutorial

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.


Note about patterns: We are sharing patterns we have designed and made for our own children, families and friends. Every effort is made to share information in a clear and accurate manner. We offer preemptive apologies for any mistakes that may be made. Please let us know via comments or emails if you stumble upon a mistake or if you encounter directions that leave you scratching your head! We will rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible!

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  1. I’ve been trying to master these for months using online tutorials. Nobody showed the trim and iron step– that is genius! I wish they still offered degrees in Household Science, although at 19 I would have been too dumb to know how very important these skills would be to me down the road…

    1. I’m so glad you found it useful. You’re going to be delighted to find out have easy they really are. The real success is keeping your topstitching nice and straight. Take your time, go slow on the machine, and you’ll be a pro in no time!

  2. What a great, inspiring tutorial, I realise now I never really give my seams much thought they’re something I just do as quickly and simply as possible to get done, I’ll definitely give this a go especially since your directions are so very clear and give more thought to seaming in future!

  3. I ran across this website by following a few links off of oneprettything.
    I appreciate how clearly you show how to make your seams. The tutorials are great and useful for me as I use a Singer table sewing machine, knee-pedal, and grew up using a treadle Singer with no electricity! (Funnily enough, I am only 27). I have never had a serging option and have always relied on doubling up the seams or french seams to prevent fraying.
    Thank you again: your work is clear, precise, and extremely useful.

  4. This was a lifesaver! There are days when I am not focused and I accidentally sew wrong sides together! Now I don’t have to rip out those seams! I can make them look nice!

    1. Hehe! You're my kind of crafter, always asking… how to make mistakes work for you 🙂 

  5. You mentioned that flat felt is not for curve area. How to finish the curve crotch area in pajamas?  Any

    sugestions.  I like the idea of the double inforcement of the flat felt.


    1. If you happen to have a serger, use that on the crotch curve. I don’t use one, so what I normally do is sew my crotch seam with a small stitch. I then make a 2nd seam, between the 1st seam and the edge of the seam, about 1/8″ away from the first seam. This gives you a double seam. It is more likely that that material would rip before this double seam lets go. It really works well. If you want you can trim the seam so it is only 1/4″. The material will lay better and you still have the double seam protection. Hope this helps 🙂


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