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Forum > Beginner's Forum > French Seams on Knit Fabric? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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French Seams on Knit Fabric?
wenznz
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wenznz  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
NEW ZEALAND
Member since 7/8/11
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Date: 8/15/11 5:28 PM

I am just getting into sewing again, and am really trying to make the effort to construct my garments well, with nice seam finishes and all ...
I really love the neatness of french seams, and have been doing them in my blouses and skirts of late, but am eyeing up some knit fabric in my stash, and wondered if they would work in knits also.
If this is not a suitable seam finish, can you suggest another method that might be better.

As an aside, I realise that ideally you would overlock/serge them, but my overlocker and I are not currently on speaking terms, so I am looking at alternatives

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Wendy
Wellington, New Zealand

JennaF
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JennaF
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Washington USA
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Date: 8/15/11 6:07 PM

My favorite thing about knits is that they don't fray. You don't have to finish the edges at all; you can just leave them raw. :D

If you look at RTW tops, some of them aren't even hemmed. The edges are just cut.

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http://www.seamstressintraining.blogspot.com

NancyDaQ
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NancyDaQ
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Date: 8/15/11 6:16 PM

I think it would add unnecessary bulk to your seams and hinder the stretch.

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JillyBe
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JillyBe
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Date: 8/15/11 6:19 PM

I recently used French seams on the pocket of some knit pants (I like my seams to have a nice finish as well)

I ended up cutting off those seams, & just serged them. As mentioned above, it added too much bulk, & I had 'visible pocket line' - hated it!

Edited for clarity
-- Edited on 8/15/11 6:20 PM --

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http://jillybejoyful.blogspot.com/
a blog about creativity, sewing, vintage sewing machines, and...... life :)

Ms. McCall
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Ms. McCall  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/15/11 6:39 PM

Can you do a zigzag? Or a double needle for hems?

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BrownPaperPattern.blogspot.com

DragonFrog
DragonFrog
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California USA
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Date: 8/15/11 8:07 PM

I recently made a simple knit top on my zigzag sewing machine (I don't have a serger), and my plan was to do all French seams. However, after sewing the shoulder seam as a French seam, I realized it was far too bulky for a side seam, and just did a wide zigzag stitch near the edge to finish the seam allowance. I recommend sewing a sample of different types of seams with your knit to see what you like. I ended up liking the French shoulder seam in my top because it was very stable and sturdy, but I was glad I didn't do that on the side seams.

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Violina the DragonFrog

Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to JennaF


Date: 8/15/11 9:08 PM

As everyone else said, this is not really an appropriate finish for knits that don't actually need to have the seams finished, one of the nicer things about knits is that you don't have to finish the edges.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

marymary86
marymary86
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Georgia USA
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Date: 8/15/11 9:42 PM

I love Jalie patterns for knits. Their blog has a great post on how to sew knit seams on a conventional machine.

How to sew stretch fabrics

See what you think!

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Mary


a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to wenznz


Date: 8/15/11 9:50 PM

I like my garments to be finished on the inside also, but the french seams would add bulk and it would also cause the seam allowance to behave differently than the fabric in the garment. It would drastically reduce the stretch, it would be stiff. It would be like having a knit garment with corduroy seam allowances. On my old Pfaff, I have sometimes flipped a stretch stitch so that the straight edge of the stitch is exactly aligned with the cut edge of the seam allowance and the fingers of the stitch have sewn towards the seam. I've done this when I have wanted to keep a knit seam pressed open. It makes for a nice edge, keeps the seam allowance from curling and does not hinder the stretch of the garment. This works well on a fabric that a serger is fussy about.

Although my senses are shocked by the unfinished cut edges of some of the new knit garments, I get it. Our garment fabric selections are rapidly evolving and we need to evolve with them. I say this knowing that for myself it sometimes takes that old 20 mule team to drag me along. Had you considered wooing your serger?

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I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

wenznz
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wenznz  Friend of PR
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NEW ZEALAND
Member since 7/8/11
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Date: 8/16/11 0:03 AM

Thank you to everyone who took the time to reply - french seams = bad idea!

Marymary86 - the link to that video was great. Very clear explanation, and a nice finish too.

a7yearstitch - Yes, I had considered wooing my serger again. I just need to find the patience to fiddle about with my tensions, and figure out which dial to turn what way to get my stitch looking nice, and various threads not breaking!
-- Edited on 8/16/11 0:04 AM --

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Wendy
Wellington, New Zealand

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