How to finish your seams

Behind the seams: how to finish your seams

Seam finishes
What am I going to learn?

In this post, we will go through the most common finishing techniques that you can use for your garments. You will find out that, even without a serger, you can make professional-looking finishes that will make you so proud!

Hey there, it’s nice to see you!
So far we’ve been talking about sewing basics. We had a closer look at sewing machines, I gave you some tips about fabric shopping and we spent quite a while talking about the sewing supplies you need to get started. Now I see you can’t wait to get started sewing (and so do I!). You will still hear me talking about the basics as I’ve got a few more post ideas buzzing in my head, but today I can’t wait to dive into our first how-to. So… let’s get started!

I’ve been thinking for a while now about this post, as I wanted my first how-to to be something nice and useful. I’ve read a lot of sewing books, tutorials and pattern instructions and they all come to a point where they say “finish seam allowances with your favourite technique”. But what if you don’t know what’s your favourite technique? That’s been often the missing part to me when I was learning how to sew. So, today I will talk about finishing techniques. By the end of this post you’ll be able to tackle any sewing project and choose the best technique to get rid of those threatening raw edges!

As this is my first tutorial, I also wanted to find the best way to style it, to make it easy and fun for you to learn. I find some online tutorials to be a bit difficult to follow. I guess that’s often because the main points get lost in many lines of text and you jump from one picture to the other to figure out the steps. I wanted to try something different, where each how-to has a compact layout and is structured in a step-by-step fashion with illustrative photos (check out the intro guide to how-tos here). This is all really experimental, so I’d be sooo grateful if you guys could leave your comments below!

Ok, so I’ll just stop with the talking and get to the point. In this post you will find some of the most common (and my favourite) finishing techniques. We will start from the basic zig-zag and overedge stitches, then talk about a nice clean finish and move to the next level with the french and flat-felled seams.

For each technique you will find a brief explanation together with some info about difficulty, required time and fancyness (well, that’s my personal index! ;) ). Then you’ll have the step-by-step instructions. I suggest you go through all of them before to start, to get an idea of where you’re headed. You can also check out my other post on fabric types and features, to see what kind of fabric these techniques work best for.

So… gather all the fabric scraps you have around and give these techniques a try. What is your favourite? Do you have any other finishing technique you particularly like? Leave your comment below!

I’ll see you soon with my next post, ciao ciao!

Zig-zag finish

Zig-zag finish

The most basic finishing technique.

Overedge finish

Overedge finish

Similar to a serged edge but with just your sewing machine.

Clean finish

Clean finish

No raw edges, super-easy and effective.

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French seam

French seam

Enclosed raw edges with a professional look.

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Flat-felled seam

Flat-felled seam

No raw edges in a fancy sporty look.

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