"Give us the tools and we will finish the job." Winston Churchill. One of the signs of a truly well-made project is that it looks nearly as good on the inside as it does on the outside. Finishing a project's inside raw edges will not only elevate the final appearance, it will also elevate your sewing skills to a new level. In general, the purpose of any seam finish is to prevent fray-prone fabrics from raveling beyond the seam, leaving a hole in your sewn project. It also helps to reduce bulk on certain fabrics, like fleece. And, finishing stitches always provide added strength to a seam and the fabric edge. However, it's often just about the look, and most professionals recommend you even finish fabrics that don’t appear to require it.
If you're a power sewer, you may turn to a serger to handle a lot of your seam finishing, but there are many available solutions using just your trusty sewing machine. That's what we have collected for you today.
Since we started with a quote about finishing, I'll end that way as well. With words of wisdom from Dave Barry:
"My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already!"
We have four tutorials covering a wide range of finishing options. You can use the handy links below to click through to each and every one.
Part 1 of 4: Most Popular, which covers straight stitch options, zig zag and overcasting, plus reviews some of the specialty presser feet that can be used.
Part 2 of 4: French Seams, a pretty option and ideal for sheer and/or delicate fabrics.
Part 3 of 4: Mock French & French Wrapped, these come to us by way of fine couture and heirloom sewing, but have a variety of flexible uses.
Part 4 of 4: Hong Kong & Bound Seams, learn two advanced techniques for wrapping a seam allowance's raw edges with a bias cut strip of lightweight fabric.
If you'd like to continue to build your knowledge about other seam finishes check out the following Sew4Home tutorials: