No overlocker? No problem. 3 ways to finish your seams.

It can seem like everyone has an overlocker, but fret not, my overlocker-less friend! There are lots of lovely ways to finish your seams without an additional machine. Here are my top 3 ways to finish a seam on a domestic sewing machine…

French seams

French seams take a bit more time and effort, but they make the inside of your garment look bloomin’ gorgeous. Unsure how to do them? Follow these steps >>>

  • Begin by sewing a 0.5cm seam allowance with the pieces wrong sides together (first image below). 
  • Trim this down a little, flip it over so the right sides are together, press carefully and pin in place (second image). 
  • If your project has a 1.5cm seam allowance, sew the seam again with a 1cm seam allowance (third image). If your project has a 1cm seam allowance, sew with a 0.5 seam allowance here.
  • Open your pieces and press the seam to one side (fourth image).

Bound seams

Finishing a seam with bias binding feels super luxurious. Not only does this finish create beautiful seams, it also gives you the opportunity to add some creative flair by using contrast binding. This is a very brief overview of how I attach bias binding >>>

  • Sew your pieces together with the seam allowance given in the project’s instructions.
  • Open out your binding, lay it against the seam you just sewed, and stitch down the fold line of the binding where I’ve drawn a pink line (first image below). 
  • Fold it over towards the hem and over to the other side, press and pin in place. Depending on the width of your binding, you may need to trim your seam allowance before folding the binding over.
  • Edge stitch the whole way down, around 2mm in from the edge of the binding. 

Zig zag stitch

Quick, easy and effective, a simple zig zag finish does the job fine. Some may find this finish messy, but I really like how ‘hand made’ they make a garment feel. I’m all for sewing to the best of my abilities, but I don’t actually want my me-mades to look shop bought, and a zig zag finish is the perfect way to maintain that handmade feel.

And if none of those float your boat, there’s nothing wrong with a good old pair of pinking shears. Simply sew at the given seam allowance, trim down with your pinking shears, and you can either press the seam open or towards the back of the garment, whichever you prefer.

These methods are officially Dot-approved.

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