Flat Fell Seam vs. French Seam

Flat Fell Seam vs. French Seam

           French Seam Outside                              French Seam Inside

              Flat Fell Seam Outside                               Flat Fell Seam Inside

After doing the tutorial on how to make a French Seam, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. While in school, back in the dark ages, or at least the dim ages, I remembered my professor using the terms French Seam and Flat Fell Seam interchangeably. To alleviate my nagging feeling, I did a Goggle search and found some differences of opinion on the two. Some people lumped the 2 terms together BUT there is a distinction between them, and since my sewing prof could walk on water, I’m going to suspect she knew the difference between them, and back then I did, too! Erroneously, I’ve been calling a Flat Fell Seam a French Seam, and what I refer to as an Encased Seam, really is a French Seam. Confused? Well, you should be, and I’m just feeling awful! Well, okay, not awful, more mildly amused than anything, however, I couldn’t sleep nights unless I rectified my faux pas!

Given the fact that I have the power to erase the past and set things right, I am going to Marty McFly backwards in time and correct my mistakes. Anywhere in the past several posts when I said French Seam, it will now say Flat Fell Seam. (Isn’t editing wonderful?) I will go one step further, though, and actually do a tutorial on a true French Seam. There is on upside to this. Anyone that totally wants to finish off their inside seams of a pair of pants or pajama bottoms (Tina), can now do a Flat Fell Seam on the inside of their pants and a French Seam on the outside of their pants since it does not need to be top stitched.

I apologize for the confusion, and I’m sorry if this reads with as much clarity as directions for setting up computer equipment! In our FREE Open Patterns there will now be a tutorial on Flat Fell Seams and one on French Seams. Hope I haven’t set sewing back 50 years!



  1. While you’re at it, (corrections and stuff, LOL), remember that it is a Flat FELL (not felt) seam. And since I was beginning to think that you and your blog were perfect, I’m so glad to know that even you can make a mistake. Great info is great info – keep up the good work! Hugs, Cathy

    1. Ya know, I’d go fix it all tonight if I had it in me, but I don’t, but as God is my witness, I will get it all corrected tomorrow! I was jumpin’ around all over the place this afternoon scrambling to fix everything, that I didn’t catch everything! Going through about 8 different spots where I had to change French Seam to Flat Fell Seamed, I successfully called half flat fell and but the other half was dubbed flat felted! I think I do way to much felting on this site to have it totally out of mind! And way too much blogging in general!!! Thanks for the heads up. I get by with a little help from my friends!

    2. Actually, it is a flat felled seam.

      1. Kimara

        Actually, I think you will find that both terms are correct, although flat felled is used more commonly, and flat-fell usually has a hyphen between the words. Michelle and I do all the work by ourselves on the blog. If we had an editor more items could be caught and discussed. Some people dream of tropic vacations… we dream of editors 🙂 ~Kimara~

  2. Hehe. Poor baby. If you hadn’t said anything probably no one would even have noticed. You have an awesome blog and I’m always getting great ideas from it. French seam/flat fell seam, who cares? Just keep the ideas coming! BTW now that I read about them, I’m going to use both seams.

  3. i will still hang on to your every word even if i wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between a flat fell and a french seam.

    you are now my official sewing guru. 🙂

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