Grainline Sew-Along: Side Seams

Once you get the side seams sewn, your Archer really starts looking like an actual shirt!

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

The main thing I want to go over today is how to fell the side seams. It is perfectly fine if you prefer to straight stitch and serge the sides together, but I am pretty sure you know how to do it so there’s not much for me to add. Umm, just stitch the sides + sleeves together and serge, right? (Hint: top Archer is stitched and serged. 😉 )

Grainline Archer Sew-Along by Sew Maris

If you decide to fell your sides + sleeves, it is almost that simple, but it does require 2 rows of stitching. I love this finish because the seam is completely enclosed and clean finished on both sides. Plus it is strong and durable too. What’s not to love?

I like to use a fell foot, because I am lazy, and specialized feet make my sewing life easier. I usually use the “skinny” fell foot, but there is one that produces a wider seam, too. If you don’t have a felling foot, and don’t want to invest in one, Christine Haynes wrote a great tute detailing how to fell a seam with a standard foot. More steps and more fiddling, but totally doable.

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

OK, start by placing the front + back wrong sides together, and offset the top layer by the width of the foot opening. I like to pin the first bit of the seam flat and start stitching for an inch or so, and then once you are underway you can lift the bottom layer of the shirt up and onto the foot opening.

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

See how the under layer of the shirt is on top of and placed in the foot opening? The process is a bit like using a rolled hem foot, isn’t it?

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

Everything is flat and easy when you are working on the side seam, but by the time you get to the end of the sleeve you can only sew for a few inches before stopping and adjusting your fabric. Don’t worry; it isn’t hard. Just a little fiddly. 😉

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

OK, now the first row of stitching is in place, and the next thing you need to do is press the seam to the side and then apply the second row of stitching. Don’t skip the pressing! It totally matters!

Grainline Archer Sew-along by Sew Maris

Place the fell foot completely on top of the pressed seam, and stitch a second row of straight stitching on the other side of the seam. That’s all there is to felling a seam using a fell foot. Easy peasy, eh?

Happy sewing!



2 Responses to Grainline Sew-Along: Side Seams

  1. do you trim one side before the first stitching so that it is smaller? If you don’t, won’t this mean you are making an uneven seam?

    • I don’t trim the seam, and you are right, Jenny! It does make the seam a bit more than 1/8 inch uneven. Since this style of shirt is not super fitted I just ignore the imbalance, but trimming the seam beforehand will certainly be reasonable.

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