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3 types of Enclosed Seams

Updated on by Sarina

When sewing clothes or anything with see-through fabrics, or too heavy and/ or fraying fabrics, you do not want those obvious fabric edges of your seam allowances visible on the outside. This is when an enclosed seam comes to your rescue. No seam allowance visible on either side of the seam – very neat and professional. Here are the 3 best enclosed seam stitching methods.

Flat felled seam

A Flat Felled Seam is a self-enclosed seam that gives great strength and durability to the seam line and the fabric. Out of the three seam stitching methods, this is my favourite.

It is a very professional seam finish that takes care of the cut fabric edges as well. The raw edges are fully enclosed inside the folded seam allowance. The back of the fabric and the front looks neat and clean, as a result.

The best example of a flat felled seam is on the leg seams of jeans. It is also used in almost all kinds of sewing.

The seam fold can be done on the back of the fabric or the front. Here I am giving the standard method of sewing the flat felled seam in which the fold is done on the front of the fabric.

How to sew this enclosed Seam

Step 1

Keep the fabric pieces wrong sides together. Mark a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Or use the guide on your sewing machine to sew a 5/8 inch seam.

flat felled seam

Step 2

Press the seam open.

And then press the seam allowances to one side. If you are using a dark-colored fabric and a light-colored fabric, turn the seam allowance to the dark colored fabric.

Step 3

Trim the inside seam allowance of the under seam allowance (the one below) to 1/8 inch.

Step 4

Fold the cut edge of the top seam allowance inside 1/4 inch. Press.

flat felled seam

Step 5

Press the folded seam allowance over the trimmed seam allowance.

flat felled seam

Stitch along the edge of this folded seam allowance joining it to the main fabric.

flat felled seam

On the back (or the front depending on how you sew it) it will look like this.

Use the edge of your presser foot as a guide for sewing – remember you need to stitch parallel and equidistant to the seam line – this is important for a neat look. You need pressing equipment (your iron) at hand for this and good measuring tools and sharp scissors.

Overlapping seam

This is a suitable seam stitching for heavy fabrics and very very easy. A sort of mock-flat felled seam.


Fold the seam allowance of one fabric edge to the back and the other fabric edge to the front.

Lock the seam allowances in this manner. This will Over lap the seam allowances. 

Stitch in place along both edges.

enclosed seams for thin fabrics

French seams

This is another very popular enclosed seam. Here the seam allowance doesnot lie flat as in the other two seam stitching but it is very easy to sew and flexible too. 

french seam

You sew the seam rightside out and then trim the allowance and sew the seam again enclosing the edges inside. Learn more about this seam here : How to sew a french seam

Related posts: 21 different types of seams; How to sew hems -by sewing machine.; How to sew flat felled seam

3 thoughts on “3 types of Enclosed Seams”

  1. I have not used these seams for many years therefore appreciated for memory fadeout. Thank you regards Eileen

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