How to finish seams
How to finish seams

Finishing Seams

Once you figure out all the techniques sewing can be enjoyable and satisfying. If your sewing projects unravel and fray after you finish follow these simple instructions on how to finish the seams of your garments like a pro! Finished seams prevent your fabric from fraying as it’s worn and washed.

There are many ways to finish a seam:

1. Fold and topstitch

Fold the fabric twice and topstitch. You can fold it to your desired length, e.g 0.5cm or even 5cm. Remeber that it’s very important to iron the seam in place. This type of finishing will be good on most fabrics – both lightweight and heavy fabrics.

Fold and topstitch

2. Overlock or Zig Zag Stitch Seam Finish

Finish the hem with an overlock or zig zag stitch, fold it to the required length and topstitch.
This technique works for the majority of fabrics.

Overlock Stitch Seam Finish

3. Fold twice and topstitch

Fold twice to the (minimum length of about 3mm) and topstitch. This type of finish works best for
lightweight fabrics such as silk or cotton.

Fold twice and topstitch

4. Bound edges (bias bound seam or the Hong Kong finish)

The binding will add some bulk to your seam but it gives a very nice, clean finish. You can find this type of lining in unlined jackets. Use a thin double fold bias tape, slip it over the edge with the wider side on the bottom and stitch the open edge closed.

*Tip – Try using a contrasting colour tape or a pretty floral one - it can make a jacket look as pretty on the inside as on the outside.

Bound edges

5. French Seams

French Seams have to be one of the best ways to finish the inside of any project.It is great for light weight and sheer fabrics that would be too delicate for an overlock stitch or a zig zag stitch. It isn’t great for heavier weight fabrics because it can add extra bulk. It is also only suitable for straight seams. To create a French seam using a 1/2′′ seam allowance, first sew your two fabrics WRONG sides together using a 1/4′′ seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/8′′ and press open. Fold the fabrics RIGHT sides together, encasing the raw edge from the previous seam, press and stitch again using a 1/4′′ seam allowance. Voila! A completely encased seam, that simply looks beautiful.

French Seams

6. Serged/Overlock seam (together)

A fast way to finish a seam is to just overlock the edges. You can use a zig zag stitch aswell. A serger wraps the thread around the raw edge of the fabric which providese a quick and easy finish. It can be expensive to buy a machine that can only do one thing but we promise that the money you invest in a serger won’t be wasted! (a serger can be used to sew together knitwear and many more without the use of a normal sewing machine). A seam finished off with a serger really does make the inside of your project look professional.

Serged/Overlock seam (together)

7. Serge/Overlock (apart)

An overlock/serger seam together is a quick seam finish, but you can also overlock the seams separately. This works better for heavier fabrics that are too thick to be sewn together. If you don’t have an overlock/serger use a zig zag stitch.

Serge/Overlock (apart)

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