This stitch is done with 3, 4 or 5 threads on a serger. It can also be referred to as serging a seam. Two of the threads wrap around the edge of the fabric, and a knife trims the fabric edge straight so that the threads can wrap around it.
Pros: quick and easy to do
Cons: you need a special machine to do this stitch
This type of stitch is essentially a zig-zag stitch done with the needle hitting just over the edge of the fabric on one side.
Pros: Can be done with any machine that can do a zig-zag
Cons: Does not wrap around the fabric edge as securely as an overlock stitch
A French Seam is made like this:
- Pin pieces together with wrong sides together, using a 1/4″ seam
- Flip the pieces to right sides together, and stitch the seam again
- The raw edges should be encased inside the seam
- If you look at it from the side, you can see the raw edges inside the seam
To do a Flat Felled seam follow these steps:
- Stitch your pieces together with at least a 1/2″ seam.
- Press the seam flat and trim one seam allowance down to 1/4″
- Wrap the other seam allowance around the trimmed raw edge
- Stitch down close to the folded edge
- Your seam will look like this on the outside. You can add topstitching next to the seam or stitch with a double needle in step 5 to make this seam more decorative.
A flat felled seam can also be done starting with wrong sides together; this will give you a ridge on the outside like you normally see on jeans.
So see, these fancy, scary sounding names for finishes are actually nothing to be scared of.