What is a French Seam Pillowcase and Why I Sew Them?

The French seam is usually made on light to medium weight fabrics.

French seams are also known as enclosed seams.

There are two lines of stitches attaching the fabric for extra strength.

I’m sure you are anxious to know how to make a gorgeous French seam, aren’t you? Well then, in that case, I will tell you.

In a French seam, the raw edges of the fabric are fully enclosed. Sewn twice, the seam is first sewn with the wrong sides together, then the seam allowances are trimmed and pressed.

Do you want to know more? “Oui, oui”.

A second seam is sewn with correct sides together, enclosing the raw edges of the original seam. This gives the finished seam one of the most beautiful, professional finishes possible.

The difficulties of making a French seam are that they take much more time to complete and require extremely precise fabric cutting. The seam allowance sewing is key. You need at least 1/2-inch total seam allowance even for very narrow French seams.

However, there are several advantages to using a French seam: They make the edges of your seam look far more elegant and the fabric will not fray, even after years of washing.

French seams are much more tedious to construct than overlocked (serger) seams. Serger seams are, nevertheless, a well-constructed seam.

The French seam to me is a way to really put a unique and beautiful finish to my charmeuse satin pillowcases.

My Inspiration for using French Seams.

My grandfather (my mother’s dad) was born in France in 1889 and came to America in 1900. His name was Robert Julius Barbier (pronounced Barbie-a).

When I started sewing and needed to make seams, I researched what were the best, most elegant seams for my handmade pillowcases.

Low and behold, I came across the “French seam”. I immediately thought of my grandfather and mother and “voila”, I have been sewing French seams ever since.


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