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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > Finishing flannel seams ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Finishing flannel seams
Mock flat fell? 2 questions
Sauvage
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Sauvage  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/22/12 9:57 PM

I just got most of the way through a pair of flannel jams (brushed on both sides, yum) for a gift and must decide on how to finish the seams.

Important: ours is a home without a serger.

So serging the seams isn't possible (though I could use a zig-zag or overcast stitch). I think it would be neater and more comfortable to do one of the techniques described as "mock flat fell." I like the idea of trimming one edge and encasing it with the other, in particular, but I'm not sure I understand it completely. So:
--is the mock flat fell (trim one side of the SA, fold the other over the trimmed edge, press and topstitch) your idea of a good finish for flannel? Is there something better?
--The resulting seam will display the inside of the fabric along the (inside) original seam, correct?

Many thanks!

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Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn: 24.5
Yards purchased: 26.5

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

AdaH
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AdaH  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/23/12 0:32 AM

Before I had a serger I used the 3 stitch zig zag. I made the zig zag as wide as the machine would go. Then trimed off the fabric that extended beyond the stitching. Another stitch is the overedge stitch. Does your machine have one of those?

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Ada

Sauvage
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Date: 2/23/12 11:20 PM

Thanks, Ada H. That sounds fast. (I want these to be comfortable, but I dread getting caught in endless seam finishing.)

By 3-step zigzag, you mean #5 in this graphic, right?
Some Juki stitches

I get a little confused about the zig-zags and that one with three parallel lines.

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Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn: 24.5
Yards purchased: 26.5

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

tourist
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Date: 2/24/12 10:25 AM

Sauvage - before I had a serger I would usually trim the seam, zig zag over the edge and then press and top stitch to do a mock flat fell that is really sturdy. You could also use a twin needle and wooly nylon (probably wouldn't need the zig zag then) to give a similar effect.

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gabrielle

gabrielle
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In reply to Sauvage


Date: 2/24/12 12:53 PM

For future projects, you might consider a flat-fell seam finish I first saw in a Margaret Islander video. It's very easy, and looks great. I'll see if I can roughly describe it here:
1. starting with 5/8 inch seam allowances, stitch seam with one edge of the fabric extending a scant quarter of an inch past the other. You can start with either wrong or right sides of the fabric together
2. Press seam allowances to one side so that the longer edge is on top.
3. Fold long edge under slightly, and edge stitch in place over the shorter seam allowance. Don't bother trying to tuck the folded edge around the raw underside.

*This is not finicky at all--I can do the whole thing without pins. The only part you need to be really precise about is that final edgestitching, to ensure that your seam is the same width. That too is very easy to do as well.
-- Edited on 2/24/12 12:53 PM --

Sauvage
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Date: 2/24/12 1:26 PM

Thanks so much! I probably will use the zig-zag then turn and stitch the seam you describe, Tourist. For one thing, trimming allows me to even out the seams a bit. (These jams, by the way, are a present for a relative who has recently gotten into competitive ballroom dancing....it's everywhere!)

Gabrielle, the technique you describe sounds like the mock flat-fell I was originally thinking of, except that it skips the "trim one side of the SA" step by starting with an overlap. (!Lightbulb!) I really like the idea of enclosing the edges and am going to experiment on something smaller (jammy pants for the 9-year-old, maybe, or for her even smaller 18" doll).

------
Jeanne
2014 yards in inventory: (to be counted)
Yards cut/sewn: 24.5
Yards purchased: 26.5

"People....so much bigger on the inside." Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," 6.04, by Neil Gaiman.

Marie367
Marie367  Friend of PR
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In reply to Sauvage


Date: 2/24/12 1:33 PM

I am surprised that no one has mentioned a french seam. It is usually used on very thin or sheer material. You sew a 1/4" seam on the right side, trim to 1/8", turn to the wrong side and sew down the normal seam allowance. This completely closes in the seam. It is easy to do. Here is a link to directions I found with a simple google search French seam directions I am not sure how it would work on flannel but I don't know why it wouldn't work.

LauraTS
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LauraTS  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/24/12 2:16 PM

A french seam is a good idea, but you can't really do it after sewing the seam (although a mock french seam might work). It also might get kinda bulky with something like flannel. I've done it on PJs before, but only the thinner fabrics (and you can't do it on the crotch seam, or at least I can't).
-- Edited on 2/24/12 2:16 PM --

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gabrielle

gabrielle
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Date: 2/24/12 9:10 PM

I personally wouldn't want to sew french seams on flannel either , but I love using the technique for lighter-weight fabric.

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to Sauvage


Date: 2/25/12 2:43 PM

You have double faced flannel, which will be bulky if you do a flat fell seam. What I would suggest is use an overedge foot, stitching the seam allowances together. Before I got my very first serger just last April, this was the way I finished seams with double faced flannel. And I've been sewing since dinosaurs roamed the earth....

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