French seams give the wrong side of a garment a clean, finished appearance. This is an especially useful finish for very lightweight or sheer fabrics where a zigzagged or serged seam allowance might be visible. But it can also help
I've seen a lot of embroidery designs on Burlap lately. Here's how to embroider on burlap. Embroidery Library - Machine Embroidery Designs Inspired Project Page. Also has links to other machine embroidery tips.
Shortcut Ruffling Technique and Faux Rolled Hem Method