For those without a serger (and for those like me who have yet to try the overlock stitch on their machine), french seams are a great way to finish seams without the ends unraveling. If you haven't yet tried, here's an easy tutorial that should help get you started!
First, you'll need to figure out what your seam allowance should be. Just to be easy, let's say it's half an inch. So you'll sew the first bit at 1/4 seam allowance.
The first bit is sewn with wrong sides together. I know, it goes against everything you've been taught, and if you're like me, you panic just a bit when you're finished because it looks so very wrong. Don't give it in to the panic.
What I particularly like about the first step is that you're able to see where you're going and if you need to adjust either the second seam allowance or if you need to adjust something more drastic, like redoing the neckline, for instance. But hopefully that's not the case!
Next you press the stitches, and then snip off the excess, down to the seam.
Then you flip it inside out and sew, right sides together, your second seam allowance. By flipping and sewing the second seam allowance, you're encasing all the loose ends that may fray into a neat little pouch.
And then after pressing, you turn it right side out and find a beautiful seam! A little extra effort makes a beautiful finished garment.
Do you like french seams? What's your favorite way to finish seams in a garment?
Edit: As Miss Emmi from The Bar Nothing mentioned below, sometimes french seams aren't always the best way to finish a seam (i.e. if the fabric is too heavy or if the seam is curved), but I found this great round up of various ways to finish seams over at Sew, Mama, Sew and I thought I would share! She also has a tutorial for mock french seams, which do work on curves.