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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: st13031
Date: 07-28-2007, 09:21 PM (1 of 2)
Ok, this has got to be basic question, but in a pattern I am using it is telling me to stitch a straight line and then "finish the seams" - It for a little tote bag. What does finish seams mean exactly?

Thank you!
User: st13031
Member since: 02-27-2007
Total posts: 35
From: toadusew
Date: 07-29-2007, 09:20 AM (2 of 2)
Finishing seams means to finish off the raw edges in some way, which not only prevents the fabric from fraying; it also gives your project a more professional look. The easiest way to finish seams is to serge them. There are several ways to do this. You can serge the edg of each fabric piece prior to constructing your project, or you can sew your seam and then go to the serger and serge the seam, which trims the seam and finishes it at the same time. If you don't have a serger, then doing a zigzag over the edge will accomplish the same thing, although might not be quite as sturdy as the serger.

There are lots of seam finishes that can be done on sewing projects--some simpler than others--Hong Kong finish, binding the edges of the seam allowance with bias tape, serge finishing the edges.

Another very simple way to finish a seam would be to "pink" them--trim them with pinking shears. Since your project is a tote bag, that might be the easiest thing for you do at this point. I've learned a lot from Sandra Betzina--her tv show (which no longer airs) and her books.

Many sewing machines now have stitches that are similar to the serger stitches except for actually trimming the seam a bit, so check on your machine to see if there is something like a double overedge stitch, which is what I used to use before I purchased my serger.
User: toadusew
Member since: 01-08-2005
Total posts: 369
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