4 Ways to Finish Seam’s without an Overlocker

Seam finishing

There’s nothing like having the inside of your garment as beautiful as the outside. This only happens when the inside of a garment is finished properly.

Unfinished garments not only look hideous, but can lead to unraveling of the raw edges of the fabric.

The most popular way to finish a garment is with an Overlocker (also called a Serger). In Nigeria, it is popularly known as a “whipping machine”, but not everyone that sews owns an Overlocker, especially beginner sewers.

So for those who don’t own an Overlocker and want beautiful finishing to their garments, here are 4 ways you can beautifully finish you garments without an Overlocker:

The Clean Finish

This is one of the oldest methods of finishing a garment. It’s perfect for those sewing machines that can only sew straight stitches.

After sewing your seams together, turn under the raw edges of the seam allowance by 1/8 inch and stitch down with a straight stitch on the fold. Give a good press with the iron and you have your clean finish. Pretty easy.

Folding seam allowance by 1/8 inch

Clean finish

Zigzagged Finish

For this type of finish, you would need to have a sewing machine that has a zigzag stitch function. This works just as good as an Overlocker for stopping the raw edges from fraying.

Put your sewing machine on the zigzag stitch setting, adjust the length and width of the stitch as it suits you, mine is a width of 2mm and a length of 1.5mm. Just as you would an Overlocker, stitch the zigzag stitch on the raw edge of the seam allowance, then trim off the excess fabric back to the zigzag stitch.

Cutting out the excess fabric

Zigzagged Finish

French Seam

This seam Finish is quite easy to sew and the end result is so beautiful. It is perfect for delicate fabrics like chiffon, silk etc.

To create this finish, put the fabric wrong side to wrong side (In normal sewing it’s right side to right side) and stitch a 1/4inch from the edge of the fabric. Trim the seam slightly and press open. Fold the fabric right to right side again to enclose the first seam you made, then stitch 3/8inch seam allowance from the new edge. Press the seams flat and you have a perfect French Seam.

Seam sewn wrong side to wrong side and pressed open

A view of the first enclosed seam

French seam

Hong Kong Finish

This seam finish is made by wrapping the raw edges of seam allowance with bias tape. It is a perfect finish for Heavy weight fabrics.

To make a Hong Kong Finish, you’ll need a bias tape or bias strip.

Sewn seam and bias tape

Stitch the raw edges of the bias tape to the raw edges of the seam allowance. Then wrap the stitched raw edges with the rest of the bias tape and stitch in place. Give the seam a nice press and you have your perfect Hong Kong Finish.

Hong Kong Finish
Wrapping seam allowance with bias tape

Hong Kong Finish

I hope these tips helped. I just learnt these and thought I should share.


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