5 Ways To Finish Seams For A Professional Look
This is probably the easiest way to finish off your projects to prevent fraying, although I would caution that the other options on this list are more professional looking, this will definitely help your garments stand up to washing and wearing on a regular basis. If you don't know what they are, pinking shears are scissors that cut in a zigzag pattern. This zigzag, when cut along the edge of your finished seam, will prevent the fabric from unraveling with time.
A zigzag stitch is the most common way to finish a seam. You can do this one of two ways. You can either run the zigzag down both layers of fabric together or separate the seam out and stitch each layer individually. These stitches, either way you do them, will prevent the fabric from fraying at the edges.
An overlock is my preferred method of finishing seams. If you have a machine with overlock stitches, you simply stitch back down the edge of your seam, making sure the stitches go just off the edge. You will be sewing both layers at once using this method. I love the pretty and professional look it gives along with protecting the edges of your fabric.
Turn Under and Tack Down
This one is less commonly used but can give a fun detail to your work. You accomplish this by first pressing your seams open. Then, turn each edge under so you have a nice folded edge and edge stitch it down. This will leave some nice detail stitching along either side of your seams on the outside of your garment which can be fun if you use a contrasting thread! It's really when you're making things like pants, where detail stitching will really stand out.
French seams are probably one of the cleanest ways to finish a seam, but it can get tricky at times and is definitely time-consuming. It also does not work well for bulkier fabrics, so keep that in mind when choosing how to finish your seams. Now, a french seam is where you enclose the raw edges completely within your sewing. In order to accomplish this, you will sew every seam twice. For example, Bella Sunshine patterns use a 3/8" seam allowance. So, you would sew your seam first with WRONG sides together at 1/8", then fold it back to the regular right sides together and sew it again at 1/4", enclosing the raw edges. It makes for a very pretty and clean look, but sewing it all twice takes time and patience. Although, I do believe this method dates way back to (and beyond) medieval times when they would often hand stitch all of their garments this way. Interesting, right?
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