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7 simple steps to sewing French seams

Yesterday I used the Dreamweaver XE to embroider a fun Mickey Mouse design on the fabric that will be used to make a gift bag. Today I’ll show you how easy it is to make French seams that give the inside of the bag a neat, finished appearance.

The Dreamweaver XE
The Dreamweaver XE

Here’s the ‘patchwork’ Mickey Mouse design that came pre-loaded on the Brother Dreamweaver XE.

The Mickey Mouse embroidery
The Mickey Mouse embroidery

Before sewing the side and bottom seams, I’ll tear away the stabilizer from the back of the embroidery.

Tear away stabilizer
Tear away stabilizer

Sewing the gift bag with French seams

Step 1 – fold wrong sides together

Fold the fabric for the gift bag in half with wrong sides together and then clip or pin the outside edges prior to sewing with the Dreamweaver XE. I just recently started using Wonder Clips and I have to tell you that I really love them!

Fold in half
Fold in half

Step 2 – set your machine to sew a ¼” seam

Select the ‘Sewing’ key on the Home Screen of the Dreamweaver XE.

Select "Sewing" on the Home Screen
Select “Sewing” on the Home Screen

In the Utility Stitches section on the Dreamweaver XE I’ll select the Quilting stitches “Q”.

Select the Quilting stitches "Q"
Select the Quilting stitches “Q”

Using the Q-02 stitch and the “J” presser foot on the Dreamweaver XE will make a ¼” seam.

Select Q-02 stitch
Select Q-02 stitch

Step 3 – sew seam

Sew the side and bottom of the gift bag using a ¼” seam. Backstitch at both ends of the seam.

Sew side and bottom seams
Sew side and bottom seams

Step 4 – turn and press

Turn the gift bag wrong side out and press the sewn seams.

Press sewn seams
Press sewn seams

Step 5 – Set machine to sew a ⅜” seam

To sew a ⅜” seam on the Brother Dreamweaver XE, use presser foot “J” and select stitch Q-03.

Select stitch Q-03
Select stitch Q-03

Step 6 – sew seam a second time

Sew the side and bottom seams of the gift bag again, this time using a ⅜” seam which will encase the raw edges in the French seam.

Sew side and bottom seams
Sew side and bottom seams

Here’s what the inside of the French side seam of the gift bag looks like – see, no raw edges!

The French seam
The French seam

Step 7 – press and trim

Turn the gift bag right sides out and press the side and bottom seams again. Use sharp scissors to trim any stray threads that are poking out of the seams, being careful not to cut the fabric.

Press side and bottom seams
Press side and bottom seams

Now that the side and bottom seams of the bag have been sewn, tomorrow I’ll finish it up by adding a simple drawstring. The Dreamweaver XE sure does a great job at embroidery AND regular sewing!!

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: What to do when your bobbin runs out mid embroidery design

Go to part 5: 1 easy way to add a drawstring to a fabric gift bag

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

2 Comments

  1. Janet T

    My seams don’t turn out that good. Guess I need more practice!

  2. Linda Williamson

    Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

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