Tag Archives: Fashion

How to sew a flat-felled seam

A flat-felled seam is an easy technique to master and very useful. It gives a very strong seam finish to a garment. It is often used on trousers and denim jeans as well as shirts for extra durability. It can also be used as a decorative seam finish as it is formed on the right side of the fabric.

I’ve used two different cotton fabrics and a contrasting thread so hopefully its easy for you to see what’s going on and how I’m making the seam

Step 1

With the wrong sides of the fabric together, stitch along the seam line. Take the full width of the seam allowance. On most commercial patterns this will be 15mm or 5/8 inch, but please check first as they can vary. Press the seam open.

Step 1 - How to sew a flat-felled seam - Sewing Avenue
Step 1 – How to sew a flat-felled seam – Sewing Avenue

Step 2

Trim the inner seam allowance to about 3 mm or 1/8 inch. Take care not to cut into the sewing line. You should be able to judge this by eye, there is no need to measure for exact accuracy.

Step 3

Press the outer seam allowance under by 6mm or ¼ inch; making sure you keep it uniform all the way along all of your seams. Be careful to press like seams in the same direction as one another (e.g. both shoulder seams should be pressed towards the front).

Step 3 - How to sew a flat-felled seam - Sewing Avenue
Step 3 – How to sew a flat-felled seam – Sewing Avenue

Step 4

Stitch this folded edge to the garment using a top stitch. Top stitching usually uses a longer stitch length than a seam line stitch. Take a note of the stitch you are going to use, either straight or decorative and ensure you keep using the same one through out the whole garment. This can be colour matched to your fabric or you can use a decorative thread or stitch for added effect.

Step 4 - How to sew a flat-felled seam - Sewing Avenue
Step 4 – How to sew a flat-felled seam – Sewing Avenue

I like to use different types of seams to achieve different looks on the projects that I make. The flat-felled seam is a useful technique to master for use on shirts, especially men’s formal or dress shirts. It gives a clean, defined look with its rows of straight topstitching. It is also a good choice for children’s wear as the extra line of stitching add a lot of strength to the seams. Sports wear often uses visible, decorative seams too for both durability and decoration. If you are making sports clothing in a stretch fabric though, be sure to use the correct stretch stitch on both the seam line and the top stitching. A zigzag or flat lock stitch can look good here.

How to sew a shirt yoke into place

Cut out your garment, two fronts, a back and two yoke pieces.
You can see I’ve used a fabric for this demonstration with a definite right and wrong side to make it easier to see what is going on.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step 1.

Working with the back panel and the two yoke pieces, sandwich the top edge of the back between the yokes making sure that when everything is turned the right way around both right sides of the yokes will be facing outwards, away from one another. Sew along this edge.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step 2.

As in the picture spread both yokes out, right sides uppermost and roll the back panel up towards the centre.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step3.

Position the front pieces, as they will eventually appear, on the fronts of the yoke. It is important to check that you have both of the shirt centres in the correct place, unpicking is tiresome.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step 4.

Roll up the two front pieces and place on the seam edges with the right sides of the fabric facing one another.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step 5.

Fold the second yoke piece onto the first, sandwiching the rolled up back and fronts inside the yokes. Pin the front seam edges and sew through the three layers on both fronts.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue

Step 6.

Pass all of the rolled up pieces through the open neck edge and open out. Press the seams flat and topstitch 1/8th inch away from the seams to create a nice finish.

Shirt Yoke Dress Making - Sewing Avenue
Shirt Yoke Dress Making – Sewing Avenue