I don’t know how “kosher” this technique is. No one taught it to me, I haven’t seen it around. A long time ago I decided that sewing something “right” means it fits, it looks good, it doesn’t fall apart and it will wash. Everything else is academic.
It’s a french seam- but the first line of stitching is a 3-thread serging stitch. This lends durability to a lighter-weight fabric, binds in the raw edge and trims the seam to a reliable width from one end to the other. It also adds some bulk, so if that’s not what you’re after then try a traditional French seam. My fabric is too holey and light, the extra heft of serging means I can wear it longer.
My machine is usually set to 4-thread serging. I leave the needle threaded when I loosen it; that means the needle can’t slip into the lower reaches of my machine. Once it’s free, I cut the thread and remove the needle.
Since it’s going right back on the machine after I serge the seam, I stuck the needle in a piece of fleece I keep under one of the spools for just such an occasion. It’s not a good idea to let your needles become “uneven,” however. As a general rule, you want both needles to wear at the same rate, and replace them at the same time for best stitch quality.
Stitch a 1/4″ seam. Or slightly wider than your serged seam. My 3-thread is a hair under 1/4″, so sewing my second seam at 1/4″ works for me. If I start out with a 1/2″ seam allowance and sew it this way, everything works out like sunshine.
I have used this on many weights and textures of fabric, and it consistently yields clean and durable results. I used it on the Lacewing Top I’ll show you tomorrow!
Have you ever done this? What is “right” in sewing?
In other news, Liza Jane made a beautifully fitted and and well-executed pair of pink linen trousers. Well done, Liza Jane! (And thank you so much for your kind words! :)) The trousers look fantastic, complete with a discreet flower button on the front. Such fun. Check out her write up on the pants and the block service from the Consulting Dressmaker.