When I first started sewing garments it didn’t occur to me that I needed to do anything to the inside of my seams to keep them from fraying or to finish them nicely and neatly. As long as it fitted (more or less) and it was tidy enough on the outside I was thrilled, proud of my clever sewing and a more than a bit chuffed with myself.
The more I sewed, the more my skills developed, and my standards changed. Now I find myself to be quite a fussy sewer and I would never dream of leaving my seams unfinished.
Well, practically never. If the seams are enclosed within a lining and will never be exposed it isn’t always necessary to finish them (unless it’s to keep a very fray-prone fabric from unraveling out of sight and eventually undoing your seams.)
There are a few things I would urge a new sewer to pay special care to, and finishing your seams properly is definitely one of them. It will make your work look neat and professional both inside and out, and will, depending on the method you choose, reinforce and strengthen your seams.
The 5 seam finishes that I believe every new sewer should be aware of are set out below. With the exception of the Overlocked Seam which requires an overlocker, they are easy techniques which will immediately lift your sewing and make your finished garments look so much more impressive.
- Zigzag stitch
- Pinked Seam
- Bias Binding
- French Seams
- Overlocked Seams