French Seams for the Lou Box Top

During the testing of the Lou Box Top pattern a few pattern testers mentioned that they did french seams for a very clean finish on the inside. Personally, I don't like doing french seams because it feels like such a tedious process. But, I thought it was high time that I give it a try for the Lou Box Top. And the good news is that it's really easy to do. Read on to see my tips.

I made this top as a birthday present for my college-age niece. Initially, I thought that she would a sweatshirt but she asked for a blouse instead. I let her choose the style (scoop neck and dip hem) and fabric and it only took me 6 weeks after her birthday to finally get it done. :) 

If you're not familiar, the french seam is a technique where you stitch each seam twice, enclosing the raw edge inside. The IndieSew blog has a great tutorial for how to sew french seams here. The Lou Box Top has a .5 inch seam allowance included in the pattern. So when you do the french seam you'll want to stitch .25 inch with wrong sides together, trim to 1/8 inch. Press and turn right sides together. Then stitch .25 inch seam allowance to finish. (In other words, don't be a dumb-dumb like me! I messed up the seam allowance and had to do some seam ripping and trimming.)

I was expecting the center back seam to be a little tricky but it was actually pretty easy. Stitch the french seam to the dot marking for the back neck opening. Then make narrow hems on the seam allowance, clipping the seam allowance where necessary to allow it to roll to the wrong side. You'll need to stitch each separately backstitching at the beginning and end (click on the image below to see this close up). From there you can pretty much proceed as normal. I forgot about the button loop but just topstitched it on right before topstitching the neck facing.

I gave my niece her new top on Easter and I think it will be the perfect thing to take her from spring into summer. The square button is my favorite part. I was so delighted when I found it in my collection. The gold color complements the brown in the fabric and shape pairs perfectly with the geometric print. If you want to check out the Lou Box Top, you can find the pattern right here. Happy Sewing!