Sewing Sheer Fabric: How to Create a French Seam

I’ve always been drawn to the ethereal look and feel of transparent textiles, be it organza, chiffon, or a delicate rayon. They hold so much potential, from dreamy eveningwear with floating trains to sophisticated blouses layered over camisoles. But, admittedly, it takes a bold soul to bring them to a sewing machine.

Since the final product is, well, see-through, every part of your construction must be flawless. No pressure! Fortunately, there’s a go-to technique that will get you beautiful results inside and out: French seams. It’s basically a seam with a casing on the inside to hide any raw edges. In fact, sometimes I even use this tactic on fabrics that aren’t sheer, just to get a professional finish.

How to do it:

Step 1: Factor in extra seam allowance for your pattern. Generally, this means you will double your standard seam allowance, then add ⅛” of an inch to that. Yes, it takes slightly more of your precious fabric, but is totally worth it.

Step 2: Face the wrong sides AKA the insides of your fabric pieces together and sew your standard seam allowance. This will look, at first, as if the seam is on the outside of the garment.

Step 3: Trim off any seam excess, but don’t get closer than ¼” to the sewing line.

Step 4: Iron the right sides AKA the outside of your fabric pieces together.

Step 5: Sew a second seam encasing the original.

Viola! You have a flawless closure to any unsightly interior seams, making sheer fabrics a breeze to work with. Bonus: This trick is especially helpful for any fabric with the tendency to fray like crazy.

For a visual, check out this super helpful Youtube tutorial

Take a look at these gorgeous high-end items on the market now that utilize this technique:

Sheer Fabric


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