“Trendy is the last stage before tacky.” - Karl Lagerfeld
A lot of people in the UK enjoy creative hobbies. Knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch, and sewing are all hobbies that are becoming more popular. If you can sew, you can make your own clothes, decorate existing ones, tailor ill-fitting clothes, or repair damaged items of clothing.
Interested in making your own clothes? How can you decorate your clothes through sewing?
In this article, we’re going to look at what a felled seam is, when you should use one, and how you make them. So get your scissors and needles ready!
What is a Felled Seam?
When it comes to sewing, there are many different types of stitches and seams to choose from. This might be a zig-zag stitch, a French seam, or even a felled seam.
The latter technique isn’t the quickest and nor is it the easiest but beginners can learn to do it. It’s among the most common techniques taught in sewing workshops and by private sewing tutorials.
Also known as the flat-fell seam, the felled seam is made by stitching twice in parallel. Whether it’s done with a sewing machine or by hand, it’s a solid seam. A sewing machine will probably make it look better than by hand.
Furthermore, sewing it by hand can take absolutely ages as you’ll need to do it twice. Sewing a flat felled seam takes around ten minutes with a sewing machine.
Find out more about open and closed seams.
Why Use a Felled Seam?
Whether you’re in sewing classes near me or on your own, it’s never clear what kind of seam or stitch you should use.
So why should you choose a felled seam over any other?
When you learn to sew, you’ll learn a variety of techniques. You’ll also learn how to judge which technique you should use in order to create certain pieces and get certain results. The stitch and the seam will depend on the material you’re working with (whether it’s heavy, light, etc.) as well as what you’re making. You wouldn’t use the same seams for trousers as you would for underwear.
A flat felled seam is a pretty solid seam. That’s why it’s often used for furnishings and for trousers, particularly the inseam. It’s solid because it’s a double stitch and it’s one of the most reliable seams. Men’s shirts are often sewn using these kinds of seams.
You could also learn how to do an overlock stitch.
How to Do a Felled Seam
Even though it doesn’t look simple, the felled seam is one of the first types you’ll learn to do in a sewing class. You just need to take things step-by-step and not rush things. So here’s how you can successfully a flat felled seam.
To get started, choose two pieces of fabric that you want to use, and put them right sides together. The right side is the side of the fabric that will be visible once the piece is finished. The two pieces need to be offset. The piece on top needs to be around 6 or 7mm offset from the one underneath.
With the help of some pins, attach the two pieces together so that they won’t move. Place the pins perpendicular to the direction of the seam so that the machine can pass over the top of it.
You then need to just run it through the sewing machine. You need to make the seam around 1.5cm from the edge of the fabric on top, the one that’s sticking over the edge. Make sure you finish your seam.
Once you’ve finished, separate the two pieces so that the right side is facing the table. Fold the larger inlay (the part of the fabric from the seam) over the smaller one. You now need to sew a straight stitch onto the wrong side with the folded part of the fabric on top. You need to make sure that the second stitch is parallel to the first.
You can then turn everything over and check that your seams are parallel. The seam should look clean. Don’t forget to finish your seams so that they don’t come undone over time. Now you’re ready to sew skirts, trousers, jackets, or even curtains!
Make sure you also learn how to do a zig-zag stitch.
Teaching Yourself to Do a Felled Seam
As we mentioned earlier, the flat felled seam isn’t the easiest of techniques but it can be taught to beginners. You just need to practise it. Don’t wait until the end of a project to learn how to do it. Even if you’ve looked up how to do it, you should still practise it a few times until you can get a really clean seam.
You should use offcuts or scraps and sew them together. Doing it by hand will take more practice to ensure it doesn’t look sloppy.
You can find plenty of online sewing classes about sewing to help you. In addition to our explanations, these will give you a great idea of how your seam should look. There are also sewing books with tutorials for you to follow. To ensure you don’t get discouraged, set yourself challenges and projects to complete like making a pillowcase or sewing some trousers.
With an objective in mind, it’s easier to understand what this type of sewing can be used for. Tailoring, purses, clothes, and accessories, you can do plenty with sewing!
Learning to Do a Felled Seam in a Sewing Workshop
Another way to learn how to sew by hand or with a sewing machine is to sign up to a sewing workshop in a haberdashery or anywhere offering classes. There are regular workshops throughout the year and you could attend these classes regularly.
Additionally, you’ll learn more than just one technique. You’ll learn things how to use interfacing or how to attach a zip. You just need to sign up to workshop covering the technique you want to learn and you’re ready to go!
A professional will help you with the finer details of these techniques. The advantage is that in some, you can even bring your own projects along and get advice on them.
Don’t panic! If you don’t have any sewing equipment, there are workshops that will provide you with the resources you’ll need, loan them to you, or let you buy them. You might need an iron, for example, and you won’t be expected to bring one. Even though an iron isn’t essential, it helps you with folding the edges before doing the second seam.
Learning to Do a Felled Seam in Private Tutorials
Not everyone has a nice schedule that allows them to attend workshops or maybe they just don’t fancy learning in a group. You can get in touch with a private sewing tutor to learn how to do a flat felled seam.
Private tutorials are useful if you want to create a certain piece as a gift or if you’d like to retrain and you’ll need to do perfect felled seams. It’s a great way to learn new skills in tailored classes.
Making a hem, using a serger, doing a zigzag stitch or a French seam, or using sewing patterns, there are plenty of things you can learn how to do when you’ve got your own tutor.
There are plenty of tutors offering sewing tutorials on Superprof and there are three main types of tutorial on offer: face-to-face tutorials, online tutorials, and group tutorials.
Face-to-face tutorials involve a private tutor and one student. Since you're getting tailored tuition, you can expect to pay a premium for it. However, these types of tutorials are also the most cost-effective since every minute of the tutor's time is used helping you, unlike in a group class or a workshop.
Online tutorials are similar except that your tutor isn't physically there. Thanks to the internet, webcams, and programmes like Skype, students can learn from tutors all over the world. Since these tutors don't have to travel, they can charge less for the tutorial. However, these types of tutorials tend to be better for theoretical subjects rather than practical subjects like sewing.
Group tutorials are the cheapest per student per hour since the cost of the tutor's time is shared amongst all the students attending the tutorial. Unfortunately, you won't get as much one-on-one time with your tutor but if you and a group of friends all want to learn how to sew, this is probably one of the best ways to do it.
So are you ready to learn how to sew?
You'll be making your own arts and crafts and clothes before you know it!