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A Dutch Tailor on Handwork

handwork hand tailoring machine tailoring Ruben Bakker Tailoring in the Netherlands

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#19 tailleuse

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 05:36 PM

I'll try to explain:
 
The seam has been sewn by machine. The wide allowance is either folded flat and pressed or will be folded by hand as you go. Fix the thread in the folded edge. 
With your needle, pick a few yarns of the fabric underneath and insert it a few mm further in the edge of the fold. Pull out the needle and repeat.
This is for a clean look on the right side of the fabric, where you will see only tiny picks.
When you want to fell linings, you move the needle under the cloth and take tiny picks in the folded edge of the lining.
 
I hope it makes sence!


Thanks a lot. I'll try it. :-)

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#20 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 08:37 PM

Why would you not use "French Seams"?


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#21 SPOOKIETOO

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 11:07 PM

A french seam leaves a seam extension, while a felled seam is flat. The felled seam will produce less bulk.

#22 tailleuse

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 11:10 PM

Why would you not use "French Seams"?


I prefer French seams. I asked about them when I took a men's shirt sewing class and was told that classic (standard?) men's shirts don't use them. I thought I'd seen some, but they may have been on a woman's shirt with a menswear flavor. I think the brand was Ralph Lauren.

My J.Crew linen "Perfect Shirt" is in the menswear style, but the side seams are French seams. There is no bulk. The armscyes are serged, but it's done with finesse, the top of sleeve cap is sewn to body so it doesn't flop about.

https://www.jcrew.co...zPQwaAoqG8P8HAQ

Edited by tailleuse, 21 April 2015 - 11:29 PM.

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#23 Henry Hall

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 02:55 AM

French seams are not the same as flat-felled seams. The flat felled is as Alievens described it, so-called because it is felled (though not when machined). A French seam is when you seam from the right sides, then fold to the wrong sides and seam again enclosing the edges. The resulting enclosed seam is pressed flat, or maybe stitched flat again, though that would be bulky.

Shirts have flat-felled seams. Those with serged seams inside are often cheaply made ones.

Edited by Henry Hall, 22 April 2015 - 07:06 PM.

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#24 Alievens

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 04:44 AM

If you stitch a french seam flat, it appears as a flat felled seam (with one extra layer of fabric in the seam though)

Maybe some shirts are made like this because it requires no special felling foot/folder or trained workers folding by hand?



#25 Henry Hall

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 07:09 PM

I've never been in a shirt factory, so I assume they have a special machine for the process. If you take apart a commercial shirt (I'm sure you have done) the seams are folded and hooked over one another in what looks like an automated process; maybe two needles stitching the seam simultaneously?
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Each phenomenon which is taken up should be treated with as much thoroughness as possible at that standpoint... One thing at a time and that done well!

 

- Otto Jespersen (How to Teach a Foreign Language).


#26 tailleuse

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 12:37 AM

French seams are not the same as flat-felled seams. The flat felled is as Alievens described it, so-called because it is felled (though not when machined). A French seam is when you seam from the right sides, then fold to the wrong sides and seam again enclosing the edges. The resulting enclosed seam is pressed flat, or maybe stitched flat again, though that would be bulky.

Shirts have flat-felled seams. Those with serged seams inside are often cheaply made ones.


I know the difference between a French seam and a flat-fell seam, having sewn both several times using different methods. The shirt I described is not Thomas Pink, but it is not cheaply made.

Edited by tailleuse, 23 April 2015 - 12:41 AM.

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#27 cthomas

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 07:46 AM

I've never been in a shirt factory, so I assume they have a special machine for the process. If you take apart a commercial shirt (I'm sure you have done) the seams are folded and hooked over one another in what looks like an automated process; maybe two needles stitching the seam simultaneously?

 

There are special machines/feet for that yes, the number of needles all depending on the number of top stitching I guess.

If it wasn't at least a semi-automated process they would've replaced it with something quicker long ago, at least in the commercial shirts.

 

I know that some people will say a seam is hand-felled if it is machine stitched, but without a special machine or feet and thus hand-folded and all.


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#28 threadwhisperer

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 08:56 AM

Thank you for posting this, I loved reading it.  I do hand smocked clothing, and all else except the tiny little necessary snap closures are completely done by machine.  The hand smocking cannot be replicated, so make the most of your precious handwork and make it count for something!  If it is non-contributory to the finished look or fit, then that's exactly what it is.


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#29 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 09:31 AM

I wonder when flat fell seams became standard for men's shirts.  I bet it wasn't always so.


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#30 Learner

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 04:31 PM

In my experience, most shirts that are marketed at any level higher than your basic standard "easy care office shirt" list single needle stitching as one of their attributes, though the sellers don't necessarily make a point of explaining why this is more desirable than twin needle stitched seams.

 

I seem to recall seeing an article which suggested that the most elegant dress shirts (meaning, in the English sense, shirts that are intended to be worn with evening dress, rather than the contemporary American sense, whereby "dress shirt" basically just means "shirt") don't have flat felled seams, although I can't remember where. 

 

If you go back centuries, the very finest seams were produced by removing a single warp thread from each of the pieces to be joined, and then using one of the removed threads to basically "re-weave" the two pieces together as one. 

 

It strikes me that the main reason that flat-felled seams have become the standard for shirts may be simply because it makes them easier to iron.


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#31 SPOOKIETOO

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 05:39 PM

I would assume flat-felled seams are considered a standard finish in a shirt primarily to smoothly and completely finish the seams.

Most shirting materials are fine enough that many other treatments, such as serging, would quite often show through.

A felled seam is a neat seam.
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#32 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 07:09 PM

That is interesting historical info Learner.  I wonder also if the flat fell seam is related to the habit of wearing shirts out and about rather than strictly as underwear. 


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#33 tailleuse

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 11:50 PM

A felled seam is a neat seam.


So is a French seam. I believe that felled seams are usually used because they're stronger and they've become part of the style vocabulary associated with certain men's shirts.

Edited by tailleuse, 23 April 2015 - 11:59 PM.

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#34 tailleuse

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 11:53 PM

I know that some people will say a seam is hand-felled if it is machine stitched, but without a special machine or feet and thus hand-folded and all.


Similar to when a sweater is called "hand-knitted" when it's done on a knitting machine. I guess that's legitimate, but I think most people have an image of someone sitting with knitting needles.

Edited by tailleuse, 23 April 2015 - 11:54 PM.

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#35 cperry

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 11:58 PM

I did a ladies' shirt using a piece of Thomas Mason fabric that a friend shared with me (for experiential purposes).  Being a beginner at Shirtmaking, and the hand seemed a bit lighter than what I thought "shirt" fabric might be, I chose to do French seams on the side seams.  It was sleeveless, so I bound the edges using a felling technique I learned from Claire Shaffer's book, "Couture Sewing."  I did quite a lot of hand work on it, felling the interfacings etc.  I often feel with the tools that I have currently, I can manipulate the fabric better with hand techniques than with the sewing machine.  Just my experience, so far.  I have seen very beautiful things done by machine and by hand.


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#36 Schneiderfrei

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 12:30 AM

Hi cperry, Well that's something that has been on my mind during this side issue of the seams.

 

French seams are actually less bulky, they get out of the way in movement.

 

And, yes I agree hand sewing gives control over the cloth.


Edited by Schneiderfrei, 24 April 2015 - 12:31 AM.

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