How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

When sewing at home, How To Finish A Seam For Beginners, your handmade garments will be neat, and will prevent them from fraying.

When starting to sew, you might have a few questions about how to give your new garments a professional seam finish without the need of purchasing a serger or an over lock machine. Today any sewer can give that professional finish to any project with their simple sewing machine you have in you’re sewing room.

How To Finish A Seam For BeginnersAs you read this article you will learn 6 different ways to finish a seam, when working on a new project and before you decide which seam finish to choose to sew, you will need to know what type of material you’re working with, every seam finish will depend on what fabric you’re using and what type of project you are making.

I hope this article will give you a guideline to know them all and next time you’re working on a new project, you’ll know which one to use.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

How To Finish A Seam With A Domestic Sewing Machine

As a beginner sewer you might have many questions about how to finish a seam with your domestic sewing machine. Today most of the machines come with enough stitching patterns to help you to work on any project and help you to give any seam a professional finish.

If you have at home a mechanical sewing machine, you can finish a seam with straight, zigzag or overcasting stitching, on the picture below, I show you a Brother mechanical sewing machine (Amazon) that has the three options, all you need to do is to check on you’re sewing machine the stitching pattern number and set it up on the dial and you’ll be ready to work on the seams.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

How To Finish A Seam With A Computerized Sewing Machine

If you have at home a computerized sewing machine, you have more options to work on the seam finish. At home, I have a Brother computerized sewing machine (Amazon) and it gives me more stitching options to give any seam a professional finish.

All you need to do, is to find the stitching pattern you want to work with, and get the stitching pattern number on the LCD screen, it will give you the presser foot letter you need to snap on the machine and you’ll ready to sew.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

What is the Best Finish For A Seam?

As you work on different sewing projects as a beginner, you will learn there is not a rule about how to finish a seam, and there is more than one option to give your projects seams a professional finish.

After reading this article you will know 6 ways to finish a seam like a professional sewer and you can be sure each one of them will help to keep your new garments in good shape for years.

Do I Need To Get A Serger To Give Seams A Professional Finish?

Sergers are known to help any sewer to give a professional finish to any seam, but today as you learn the basic of sewing, you can give a seam that professional finish with your basic sewing machine at home.

6 Ways To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Today I will tell you about 6 Ways To Finish A Seam you can do with your domestic sewing machine.

Seam Finished #1 – Pinked Seam

The simplest way to finish a seam to prevent unraveling is to use pinking shears. Once you finish sewing the seam, all you need to do is to trim the seam with the pinking shears before pressing.

Pinking seams work good when you use woven fabric on your projects, and don’t require to be washed and dried often, it works better when you use tightly woven fabrics, it’s not recommended to use on open woven fabrics like linen.

Seam Finished #2 – Zigzag Stitching

When you want to finish seams on a project with a domestic machine, you can use zigzag stitching as this is a good option.

Most of the sewing machines come with a zigzag stitching pattern and whether you have at home a basic mechanical machine or a computerized machine, it will be easy for you to follow the steps to set up zigzag stitching pattern.

There are two ways to work with zigzag to finish a seam, the first one is the most known by sewers and it’s so easy to sew on. You can sew on with zigzag stitching on the edge of each fabric, you can trim out all fabric threads with a pair of scissors.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

The second way to finish a seam with zigzag stitching, will give you a better finish and it will help to prevent unraveling, all you need to do before running the sewing machine on each side of the seam is to fold the edge 1/8″ to the back along the seam and then sew on with zigzag stitching. Press.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Seam Finished #3 – Straight Stitching

When you own an only straight stitching machine, you also have an option to finish a seam, this method is really simple to work on and it will help you to finish any project with neat seams.

All you need to do after stitching a seam is to press open and fold the raw edge of each seam to the wrong side and stitch on the folded edge with straight stitching, it will help you to prevent from fraying.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Seam Finished #4 – Machine Overcast

When working on your domestic sewing machine, you can work on overcasting seams two ways:

  • Open overcasting seam (shown in the picture below) To create an open overcasting seam, once you sew the seam, press open after stitching, set up you’re sewing machine with overcasting stitch pattern and snap on overcasting foot, stitch along the raw edge of each seam, press open seams after stitching, these seams will stay nice and flat.
  • Closed overcasting seam, when you will stitch both of the seams allowance edges together, align the raw edges of the seam allowance on the sewing machine plate with the presser foot for overcast stitching, sew on and stitch will catch raw edges giving your project a nice overcasting seams finish. Press the finish seam to one side.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Seam Finished #5 – Hong Kong Seams

When working on a project with thick woven fabrics like wool, the Hong Kong seams will help you to give your project a perfect and professional finish.

For this type of seam you will need 1/4″ double fold bias tape, any color that matches your project fabric.

When working on this type of seam is really easy, all you need to do is to wrap the bias tape around of the unfinished edge and sew it down close to the edge with matching color thread (for the tutorial I used a color thread that stands out)

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Seam Finished #6 – French Seam

When you work on French Seams you will need a multipurpose or zigzag presser foot on you’re sewing machine. Most sewers love French seams because they look clean and professional.

This type of seam is better when you’re working on a project with lightweight fabrics and create a seam completely encased in fabric.

The method to work on this seam is easy and you will need to begin by sewing your fabrics wrong side together, once you have your seams pinned, sew the seam at 3/8″, then you will need to trim the seam to 1/4″ you can use a sharp pair of scissors or you can use a rotary cutter.

Press both seams to one side of the fabric. Turn the fabric over at the seam to create a folded edge at the seam, now you can see that the fabric is wrong side out. Sew on the folded edge with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press finished seam to one side.

How To Finish A Seam For Beginners

Closing Thoughts

How To Finish A Seam For BeginnersAnd that’s it, as simple as these 6 ways to finish a seam will help you to finish any project with a professional look and it will help you to make them neat and prevent them from fraying.

Now you know how well your domestic sewing machine works and you don’t need to purchase a serger to help you to over lock seams!

Getting to know more about how you’re sewing machine works will help you to work with more confidence on any project you want to make.

I hope this guide of 6 ways to finish a seam help you to be a more skilled sewer and you’ll be working on any new project as a professional sewer!

Happy Sewing!

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4 thoughts on “How To Finish A Seam For Beginners”

  1. Here is a site about something I know nothing about. I can’t say I do very much sewing other than sewing in buttons. My experience has been trying to teach my daughter to use a sewing machine. (The things people do as single dads) So this site is great for her and she will love it.

    • Hi Castle

      Thanks so much for visit my website, I’m glad to know you’re teaching to sew to your daughter, she will happy you take the time to teach her how to sew a button and how to sew with a sewing machine, she will do great, I’m sure, I was also a single mother of 3 young boys and I was happy to teach them some sewing tips to them too, today, they do all the repairs they need. 

  2. I have been sewing for more than fifty years, so find this a very informative post about finishing seams. The one that really intrigued me, is the Hong Kong seam. Yes, I have seen it, and mainly in garments where the fabric might unravel quickly (like linen) and it is not lined, but I never knew it to be called Hong Kong seams. So I have learnt something new today!

  3. I’m very pleased to have found this information, I was always under the impression I needed an overlocker to do a seem correctly. Now I know it can be done on a standard machine. I have also learned that there are 6 different types of seem. I thought there was only three. You learn something new every day. Thank you for composing this very helpful post.

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