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French Seams & Fairy Tale

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    Profile photo of FlorabellFlorabell @Florabell

    I am making the Fairy Tale dress for the first time. It will be my first time doing a garment with a lining. Was hoping to get some feedback from those who have made this dress before. Wondering if there is any drawback to using French seams. Thanks in advance for any help!

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    Profile photo of NicoleNicole @motherof5

    I have made it twice Florabell.

    The only concern I would have is the bulk of the seams. If you use a fine fabric and grade the seam properly if would be fine. As the bodice is fully lined, I don’t know that you would actually need to.

    We have a few girls that love their French seam finishes. I am sure they would have something helpful to add.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Unless the fabric is very thick, there’s no drawback at all. Why would there be a drawback? But you don’t need them in the bodice, just the skirt. I use them for the sleeves too, though, something I learned from the heirloom sewing crowd. And, if you cut the skirt in one big piece, then you only need to seam the center back. Even easier.

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    Profile photo of paulapaula @paula

    Speaking of cutting the skirt in one big piece, I’d just add up two fronts and two backs, right? I think the front measures 12.75 and the back 12.25 so I would cut a long rectangle 50 inches long? Thanks for the great idea, Meleliza!

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    Profile photo of paulapaula @paula

    Oh, wait. Seam allowances? I need to account for two 1/2″ seams, right? so I would cut at 49″?

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    Profile photo of Rachel Le GrandRachel Le Grand @nestfullofeggs

    Florabell, I believe I’ve only used French seams on the skirt and skirt lining of one Fairy Tale dress (http://www.nestfullofeggs.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-great-british-sewing-bee-dress.html)
    No French seams are needed in the bodice as it is fully lined. French seams could be done when attaching the tulip cap sleeves, but bias bound seams could be done instead.

    Paula, I believe with 2 side seams, you need to account for four 1/2″ seams allowances, so that would make it 48″

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    Profile photo of paulapaula @paula

    Ah, you are right, Rachel! Thank you for the quick reply! 🙂

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    Profile photo of SarviSarvi @Sarvi

    The only thing I can think of to add to the above is that in a full, gathered skirt like this, an inch or two of width will not make a huge difference in the finished skirt.

    That, and I am going to have nightmares about doing set-in sleeves with French seams. Talk about fiddly.

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    Profile photo of melelizameleliza @meleliza

    Agreed, the skirt is just a big rectangle. Cut it as wide as you like. The fairy tale skirt isn’t even that full. For finer fabrics, I like to cut it even wider. If you have 58″ fabric, just tear one strip all the way across.

    Honestly, @sarvi, the French seams in the sleeves aren’t any more fiddly than a 1/2″ seam. Actually, it’s easier to set a sleeve with a smaller allowance. Then you flip and turn. Binding is actually bulkier than Frenching, and even fiddlier.

    Now, the tulip sleeve are bulkier because of the overlap and the lining, so you’re dealing with 4 layers instead of 3. It may not work. I sometimes don’t line the sleeve and instead finish with a baby hem. I also very often draft a short or cap sleeve for this one.

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    Profile photo of ReeniReeni @Reeni

    i would only do french seams in the sleeve attachment if you are lining the bodice and skirt… basically the lining is like a second dress on the inside.

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