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How to Sew a Flat Felled Seam with a Sewing Machine

Learn how to sew a flat felled seam with a sewing machine from designer Jennifer Wiese in this Howcast tutorial.


Hi, I'm Jennifer from Workroom Social and today I'm going to show you how to sew a flat felled seam. A flat felled seam encases the raw edge of the seam allowance and this is a very common way to finish seams that you see on jeans and on sportswear.

To demonstrate that today, we're going to need to identify the wrong side of the fabric. So I'm just going to mark my two wrong sides. I'm going to start by sewing wrong sides together. I'm going to sew a 5/8 of an inch seam allowance. So I'm lining up my fabric with the raw edge on the 5/8 guide on my seam guide, and I'm just sewing a straight stitch. I'm using a 2.5 millimeter stitch length. I'm just going to go all the way down to the bottom.

Now, so we have our wrong sides together and our right sides with the seam allowance up. So the next thing I want to do is to just finger press this seam open, so it lies a little bit flat, a little flatter. Then I want to trim one side of the seam allowance down short because we're going to encase it with the other seam allowance. So I'm going to trim this down and leave about between 1/8 and 1/4 of an inch.

Now, to hide all these raw edges, I'm just going to take this larger seam allowance and fold it under, and then fold the whole thing over, so everything is hidden. Then you'll just pin it in place, and then you can just move up your seam to do the whole thing. Of course, if you're uncomfortable doing this by eye, you can get your seam guide out or ruler and measure this fold so that it's all nice and even.

So we have our seam in place, and then we're just going to go to the sewing machine and stitch close to this fold all the way down to secure our seam. We'll go back to the sewing machine and I'm going to lower the presser foot and I'm just going to eyeball close to this edge. Now when you're doing this, you can always use the edge of the inside of the presser foot as your guide for an edge stitch. Or my presser foot has little notches on the right hand side that are also really useful reference guides.

Okay, and there we have our flat felled seam, and this is the right side. This is the wrong side. Of course, depending on your preference, you can always choose to use this seam look for your right side, if that's what you would prefer, and put this one the wrong side. It's really up to you. But that's how you sew a flat felled seam.

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