You don’t need a serger to get neat seam finishes. Neatly finishing your seams not only makes your sewing look professional but keeps the edges from fraying so it lasts for years to come. If you are a beginner or don’t have a serger, then never fear! You can get great looking seams with a regular sewing machine.
Try some of these popular methods to finish seams without a serger.
6 SEAM FINISHES WITHOUT A SERGER
If you don’t have a serger, zig-zag is a commonly used finish, particularly for thick or bulky fabrics. Use a narrow zig-zag to sew about 1/8 inch (3mm) from the stitched seam allowance. I generally use a width of 2 and length of 3.0. Trim close to the zig-zag stitches. You could use this same method with a 3 step zig-zag.
2. French seam
Use a French seam on fine fabrics for a professional looking finish. See my blog article on how to sew a French seam.
3. Turned under edges
This is the method I always remember my mother using before we had a serger. Turn under the raw edges by 1/8 -1/4 inch (3-6mm) and straight stitch or zig zag it in place.
4. Overlocking (Overedge)
Did you know most modern sewing machines have an overlocking function built in? This may be called an overedge or overcast stitch in your machine manual. Your machine will have a special foot for this function which guides the fabric and wraps the thread around the edge.
Use your pinking shears to stop the edges of your seams from fraying. This works best in fabrics that have a tight weave and won’t be washed too often. To provide extra strength and stop unraveling you can stitch a straight row of stitches just before the pinked edge.
6. Bound edges
This method is often used for bulky fabrics or unlined jackets. Using a double fold bias tape, slip it over the edge with the wider side on the bottom. Stitch the open edge closed.
Which seam finishes do you use with your regular machine? Please share with us below.
Still not convinced? Then consider shopping for a serger. I have both a Singer and Janome serger and both have been great machines. My Singer is now over 20 years old so I certainly got great value in that purchase! Read also how to use a serger.
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