I love using French seams, but they present a little bit of a challenge if there’s something else on that seam like a zipper, or side seam slits, like on the Springfield Top. Here’s how I approach it – if you know any other techniques, let me know!
- Pin the front and back together at the side seams, WRONG SIDES together. Use chalk or a different pin colour to mark where the side slit starts.
2. Sew down the side seam to the slit marking, at a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance. Stop and backstitch at the slit marking. Trim the seam allowance that you’ve sewn (but NOT the slit part) down to 1/8″ (3mm).
3. Press the seam, then fold the side seam RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, sandwiching the seam allowance inside the two pieces of fabric. Pin, again marking the height of the side slit.
4. Sew down the side seam again, at a 1/4″ (6mm) seam allowance, stopping and back stitching again at the top of the slit.
5. Very carefully, use scissors to snip into the seam allowance at the top of the side seam, right up to, but not through, the stitching. This “releases” the fabric from the French seam.
6. Press French seam to once side.
7. Finish slit by turning the raw edge to the wrong side by 1/4″ (6mm) and pressing, then repeating another 1/4″ (6mm) and pressing. Do this on both sides.
8. From the right side, sew up one side of the slit, across the top, catching the bottom of the French seam to secure it, and then down the other side. You may find using lots of pins or Wonder tape will help everything stay where it’s meant to be! You can also sew from the wrong side to make it a little easier (just make sure you have the right bobbin colour in your machine).
And there you have it! You’ve sewn a side seam with French seams and slits.