Seams Perfect!

Hey y’all! How was the week for all of y’all out there? It’s been hot and humid here in the mountains. You know, the other day, I almost complained about how hot it was, after weeks of wishing for the heat. It made me realize that God must really get a kick out of us because we can truly never be happy. We want something, and when he gives it, we complain about it. Y’all know he’s laughing at us the whole time! This week, we are going to talk about seam finishes and when to utilize the different types. I know y’all have probably already figured these out, and there are a few videos out there on the inter-webs. But I’m more of a picture and written directions girl myself, and it took me forever to figure out how to do some of these. So let’s begin!

We will start with what I think is the easiest, which is pinking. Now you do this with a special pair of zigzag teeth scissors, called pinking shears. These can be pricey, but you can also buy them on Amazon for like ten dollars or so. I went sort of middle of the road and bought mine from Hobby Lobby, back when they still did the 40 percent off coupons. And I can’t complain about them at all.

My trusty Pinking Shears.

You can definitely use these on all seams. The Zigzag, being of different lengths, keeps the fabric from fraying because of the different lengths. These are especially helpful when trimming down seams and for inside seams in lined garments. They are helpful in removing bulk and helping the seam lay perfectly flat.

A pinked seam, in muslin.

Next is another super simple seam finish, but you need a slightly expensive machine to achieve it. And I have no doubt you’ve all heard of Overlock or Serging, your seams. This seam finish, it’s pretty useful in all cases. But most especially for fabrics that are a loose weave or prone to fray. And it is the best for knits! You can just serge the seams together, but I prefer to sew the fabric together, then serge it, and press the seam to one side.

Serged seam.

You can also do sort of a mock version of this with different decorative stitches on your sewing machine. But the easiest and most common stitch is the zigzag stitch.

Zigzag seam finish, we have a YouTube short on this !

Next is the French Seam, and this one scares a lot of people. But it’s really easy, you just have to remember on this one, you start with wrong sides together. You sew this 3/8 of an inch together, and then trim that to half. Which I’m easier terms for you, just under 1/4 of an inch. Then you flip it, so that it’s right sides together, and press. Then you sew the seam carefully at 1/4 of an inch making sure it encases the seam. This finish can be used on chiffons, linens, satins, silks, anything delicate fabric. You can also use it on cottons, viscose, rayon, really any lightweight fabrics.

French Seams in Cotton.

If French seams seem too daunting, you can do self-bound seams and get a similar finish. Where you sew your seam allowance per the pattern instructions. Then you trim one side of the seam allowance to an even 1/8 of an inch, you then press the untrimmed seam in 1/4 of an inch and press, then again and press. I use pins in this stage. Then you edge stitch, the seam encasing all the raw edges inside.

Self bound seam.

This next one is good for unlined jackets, or even thick fabrics that are bulking to help reduce the bulk. It’s the Hong Kong seam finish. Ok now in fairness, I’ve seen and heard a few different ways of doing it. But I’m going to tell you how I do it. But I’m one of those I gotta see it done before I can sleep type people. So maybe I do like a quick and dirty way of doing these. I buy prepackaged double fold bias binding, and I press the seams open. I then sandwich the seam between the bias binding and stitch it down! It’s really that simple. But in unlined coats and jackets, you can add a pop of color or contrast.

See quick and easy.

And there are so many other ways of finishing your seams. We just wanted to show you the options are limitless. And you don’t have to have any expensive equipment, unless you chose to. And they all look fabulous when you finish them and make your hard work last so much longer. And holds up so much better with wear and washing. I hope this helps someone because I tried to find something similar when I first started sewing because I didn’t fully understand the differences until I was better at the terms. And that’s something that truly comes with time and practice. Can y’all think of any we missed? If so, please share them here or on our Instagram! We hope to see you here again! Until next week y’all!

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