Sewing: How to Finish/Neaten Your Seams

Hello!

Today I wanted to show you a few different ways to finish your seams. Depending on where you are in your sewing journey and how you have approached it, you may already know this. But for those not familiar with different ways to finish your seams on the inside of your garments, I hope this will be helpful.

I know not everyone particularly likes spending the extra time to finish their seams. They are on the inside of the garment- not typically something other people will see after all!

But trust me- when you’re wearing a garment that you made and it looks just as good on the inside as it does on the outside, it just gives you an extra boost of pride in what you’ve made. Read below for some of the most commonly used seam finishes. I’ve included pictures and will also be publishing some tutorials on how to do the more involved finishes as well.

ZIGZAG STITCH

This is probably one of the most common ways to finish a seam. It’s the only way I finished seams when I was just starting out. That’s because you can use it for all types of fabrics and all sewing machines have it. Just be sure to adjust your stitch width to 2.0 and your length to 1.5. If you’re unsure which stitch to use on your machine (or how to change the width/length), make sure to check your manual.

zig zag seam

OVEREDGE STITCH

Most machines have this stitch option. With this stitch, simply use the preset stitch width and length and be sure to use the overage foot. Then simply sew along the raw edge of your seams.

** normally, the tip of the little triangles could be right at the edge of the fabric but I seem to have misplaced my edge stitching foot!

Over-edge stitched seam

CLEAN FINISH

This works well with fine fabrics or cotton. Simply turn the raw edge of your seam allowance under by 1/8 inch and sew in a straight line right next to the fold. This should result in a clean, sturdy finish.

Clean Finish

3-THREAD SERGE

If you have a serger, you can also serge your seam allowance. This works on all types of fabrics and garments but you may need to adjust your settings depending on your fabric. You can sew each side of your seam allowance separately or, if you’re wanting less bulk, you can serge both sides of the seam allowance together.

3 thread seared seam

HONG KONG FINISH

This finish is perfect for unlined jackets that don’t have lining. Not only does it provide a nice, clean finish- you can also use it as design feature of your garment. (take a look at the inside of this trench I made using a Hong Kong finish). It may be more time consuming, but it is worth it!

**I have used a contrasting green thread so that you can see where I’ve stitched, but, on an actual project you would choose a matching thread so that you wouldn’t be able to see it.

Hong Kong finish/seam

FRENCH SEAM

French seams are sewn twice. First on the right side of the garment and then on the wrong side, enclosing the first seam. Many like to use this finish for light and delicate fabrics and garments such as lingerie, silk, or sheer fabrics.

Since it’s really hard to see the seam in the photo on the top, I’ve tried pulling it apart a but so you can see it.

french seam

PINKING SHEAR FINISH

A quick and inexpensive way to finish your seams is to simply trim your seam allowances with pinking shears. This will help greatly reduce fraying and you don’t need to spend hours doing it.

Of course, there are many more ways you can finish your seams but these are the ones that have been used the most in my experience.

Thanks for reading and happy sewing!

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