If you’re anything like me, then you want your handmade clothing to look as pretty on the inside as it does on the outside. Finishing your seams doesn’t need to take a long time, but it’s definitely worth that extra effort to keep them from unraveling! Today I’m going to share with you a few quick seam finishes, the faux flat fell seam and 2 bias tape finishes that will give you neat and professional looking garments.
Both types of seam finishes are excellent when working with thicker fabric, but they can also be used with other fabric weights. The faux flat felled seam gives you a nice top stitching on the right side of your garment, and the bias tape seam finish gives you a beautiful look on the inside and can even add a fun pop of color! You can sew these seam finishes with just a traditional sewing machine too.
To demonstrate how lovely these seam finishes are I used the Potato Chip Skirt and Potato Chip Shorts and Pants patterns. Both classic patterns are great in a variety of woven fabrics and provide ample opportunity to trim with piping or other fancy trim. The Potato Chip Skirt can also be made reversible and includes a large range of sizes, 12 months through 13/14 years.
There is also the Chocolate Chip Skirt for women which runs from size XS through XXXL if you would also like to make one for yourself too! The Potato Chip Shorts and Pants pattern includes a cute optional belt and comes in sizes 12 months though 9/10.
Now let’s get started making our clothing beautiful on the inside!
Faux Flat Fell Seams
The faux (or mock) flat fell seam is a very quick seam finish that provides durability and a professional looking finish to garments. It definitely looks great when working with heavier weight fabrics like denim.
I used this seam finish when I made this unlined denim version of the Potato Chip Skirt.
I also used upholstery thread to topstitch (regular thread in the bobbin) my faux flat fell seams with a slightly longer stitch length and a denim needle.
I just love the finish on both sides of this one! I completed my skirt using a hem facing because I love that extra bit of surprise color and finish. If you want to use this same finish you can find out how here in our hem facing tutorial.
For this tutorial I am using scrap fabric, but I used the exact same procedure on my side seams for the Potato Chip Skirt.
Taking one of your pieces to be sewn together, finish one seam edge with a serged or zigzag stitch. Be careful not to remove any of your seam allowance if using a serger.
Place your fabric right sides together and pin.
Sew your seam according to your pattern’s instructions.
Press your seam open and trim the unfinished seam to 1/4″.
Press your finished seam allowance piece over your trimmed piece and pin in place.
My personal preference is to sew from the right side of the garment since I’m usually topstitching at this point (and you definitely want to do this if you’re using topstitching thread). Stitch a straight line just within the seam allowance and catching the finished seam below; use your first seam as a guide. When you’re done, you should only see your finished seam underneath which should be hiding your trimmed seam allowance. If you’re not using special top stitching thread, you can sew from the wrong side of the garment too. You can see my stitching line in red below.
Here is what it looks like on the right side. Gorgeous!
Bias Tape Finished Seams
This is probably one of my favorite ways to finish seams. It does take a bit longer than the faux flat fell seams, but it adds that something extra to the inside of a garment that it makes it worth it. I typically use single fold bias tape, but you can make your own too. I will be showing you two different ways to quickly finish seams using bias tape.
Bias Tape Finish 1
I used this seam finish for these denim Potato Chip Shorts.
I eliminated the pocket to make it easy to finish the side seams using this method. Of course I had to add some trim to the back yoke!
The green bias tape and waistband provide a finished and colorful look! It takes these shorts to a whole new level right?!
I’m using scraps again for this tutorial, but it’s the same procedure I used making these polka dot Potato Chip Shorts.
Take your pieces and place them right sides together and pin.
Sew your seam according to your pattern’s instructions.
Press your seam open.
Taking your bias tape, open it up and pin the right side edge of your bias tape to the right side edge of your seam allowance.
Move your fabric out of the way to expose the seam allowance and bias tape edges.
Sew together using the fold in the bias tape as a stitching guide, or approximately a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Fold the bias tape over and press.
Now you will wrap your bias tape towards the back of the seam, encasing the raw edge of your seam allowance inside the bias tape. You may need to trim just a little of the seam allowance to get a good fold, and pin in place.
Edge stitch your bias tape in place using coordinating thread. I used contrasting thread so you can see them. You would repeat these steps for the seam allowance on the other side as well.
Bias Tape Finish 2
This finish is essentially the same as bias tape finish 1, except you enclose both seam allowance pieces together inside the bias tape. I used this method for these striped Potato Chip Shorts since I included the pockets.
The pockets increase the bulk of the seams, and I didn’t want to increase it even further with extra bias tape.
This bias tape finish makes it easier to finish the seams and topstitch where necessary, like at the sides and the back yoke.
I used faux flat fell seams along the legs and U-shaped center seams to avoid the added bulk of the bias tape. This seam finish also provides reinforcement here which is important. Aren’t these shorts just gorgeous inside? The outside is pretty cute too, and that stripes matching! Nailed it if I do say so myself.
I paired these shorts with the Daffodil Top, a lovely paneled top that has plenty of room for creativity. I did modify it a little at the neckline to add trim and a tie closure (hint…I’ll be sharing this one with you soon!).
Now that you’ve seen how lovely we can make the inside of our garments, go ahead and try it yourself. You can find the Potato Chip Skirt and Potato Chip Shorts and Pants patterns in Tie Dye Diva’s pattern shop, and we bet you can’t make just one either!