french seams

How to: Sew in-seam pockets with french seams


Over the past two days I have shown you how to prepare the bodice of your Rushcutter - View B. At this point we are up to putting in the in-seam pockets.

I just LOVE pockets, so I find a way to put them in pretty much every garment I make. Even a soft floaty dress like my Rushcutter.

If you're not as partial to a pocket as I am, you can simply attach the FRONT to the SIDE PANELS, ignoring the pocket all together. But if you are a fan of the pocket, well continue on with me today and I'll show you how to get a lovely finish with a french seam. And this method will work for other garments, not just The Rushcutter!

Place your pockets


Take 1 pair of pockets and, with wrong sides together, match the pockets to the notches on the FRONT. The notch in the centre of the pocket should be matched with the middle notch on the FRONT of the dress.

Pin pocket in place. Now, before sewing, I would suggest holding the panel up to your body, and checking how the pockets sit on your body. The top of the panel should sit just above your bust. If the pocket feels too low or too high, remove the pins and place the pocket in a more suitable location (this is when a toile really comes in handy). Measure the distance between the notch on the pocket and the notch on the dress, so that you will be able to place the other pocket pieces in the correct spot. 

Stitch one side of the pocket to the front


When you are happy with the pocket placement, stitch from the top of the pocket to the bottom, using a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance. 

Repeat on the other side.

Trim back pocket seam allowance


Trim back the seam allowance by 2-3mm (1/16in), from the top of the pocket to the bottom, leaving the rest of the seam untrimmed, on both sides.

Open the seam, and press the seam allowance towards the pocket. 

Create a french seam


Fold the pocket back towards the dress, now with right sides together, enclosing the raw edge and the original row of stitching inside the fold. Once again, stitch from the top of the pocket to the bottom with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance. Repeat for the other side. 

Stitch pocket to side panel


Now take the remaining pair of pockets and match them to the SIDE PANEL pieces with wrong sides together, once again matching up the centre notches. If you changed the placement of your pockets on the front, make sure you do the same for the pockets being attached to the side panels. Pin in place and attach using the same method we used for the first side.

Join the front to the side panel


Press all 4 pocket bags away from the panel they are attached to. 

With wrong sides together, pin the SIDE PANEL to the FRONT on both sides. Pin up the seam, around the pocket, and then continue pinning the remainder of the seam.


Stitch the pieces together with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance. You will notice that, when you approach the pocket, your stitching line does not meet up with the seam between the body of the dress and the pocket. This is how it is supposed to look, they will match up when you sew your second row of stitching. 

Clip into corners


Clip into the corners between the pocket bag and the body of the dress, getting nice and close to the row of stitching, but being careful not to cut through. 

Trim back the whole seam by 2-3mm (1/16in).

Press seam


Turn the pieces inside out, and press the seam flat. Pin and then and stitch along the seam, with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance enclosing the raw edge inside the seam. 

Attach the back


Attach the BACK to the side panels with a french seam. Use the notches to help you position the pieces correctly. Press the finished seams towards the front of the dress.

So that brings us to the end of this post! Tomorrow, the Rushcutter will really start looking like a dress as we will be joing to the bodice to the body of the dress. Yay!

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The Rushcutter sew-along: View B begins!


Today it's finally time to jump into The Rushcutter - View B sew-along, after concluding the sew-along for View A last week. 

I decided to construct this version with french seams, so that I could offer an alternative finish for those sewers who don't own overlockers, and because French seams are oh-so-nice! If you are not making The Rushcutter, but would like to learn how to sew a french seam, then keep reading. 

French seams are a good choice for you (even if you do have an overlocker), if your fabric is light to mid-weight. You get a lovely clean finish, which gives your garments a really high-end look. If you would prefer normal seams, just follow along, remembering to put right sides together (not wrong sides together, which is how you go about creating a french seam).

joining the front and back bodices

(sizes A & B only)


For sizes C - K, the front and back bodice pieces are all-in-one. This was not possible for size A and B, because the armhole is not big enough to allow it, so these pattern pieces need to be cut and stitched together before following along with the instructions for all sizes,

With wrong sides together, attach the FRONT UPPER BODICE to the BACK UPPER BODICE and stitch together with a french seam (if you don't know how to sew a french seam, don't worry - I'll explain it in the following steps).

Preparing the button placket


Place the UPPER BODICE face down, and fold back the centre back by 1cm (3/8 in), using the notches to guide you. Press in place.


Make a second fold, this time 2cm (3/4 in) from the first, using the notches as a guide. Press in place.

adding interfacing


If your fabric is lightweight, or quite flimsy, I suggest that you consider using interfacing to stiffen your button placket. I did not want to stiffen the whole stand, so decided to just use small pieces of interfacing to reinforce where the buttons and buttonhole will be sewn.You could consider cutting a strip of interfacing as long and as wide as the placket itself - depending on the fabric and finish you are going for. 

Open up the folds, and place your piece/s of interfacing with sticky side down. The folds will help you position it correctly. Press in place. 


Re-fold the fold lines and stitch close to the edge on both sides. Your pattern placket is done!

Attaching the centre front panel


With wrong sides together, join the CENTRE FRONT PANEL to the front sides of the UPPER BODICE pieces. Use the notch in the centre of the seam to help you place the pieces correctly. Stitch with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance.


Trim down the seam allowances on both sides of the CENTRE FRONT PANEL by about 2-3mm (1/16in). Open the seam, and press the seam allowances away from the centre front.


Fold the seam, with right sides together. You will see that this will enclose the raw edge and the original line of stitching inside the seam. Press and pin. Stitch the seam with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance. 


Press seams away from the centre front. 

Joining the shoulder seams


With wrong sides together, pin the front and back shoulder seams together. Pin in place.

Once again, stitch with a 6mm (1/4in) seam allowance, trim back, and enclose raw edge in a french seam.


Press the shoulder seams towards the back, and then that's it for today.

Tomorrow I'll be walking you through using bias tape to bind the neckline.

Don't have bias tape? Make some yourself! 

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