Fabric is generally sewn with a single seam. The seam should be stitched 1cm to 1.5 cms from the edge.
There are different types of finishes that prevent fabric from fraying.
It is advisable to use one the following methods to finish edges before sewing a garment together (you can do this later on but it is less convenient):
– Use pinking shears
– Overcast using a sewing maching set on a zigzag stitch
– Turn over the egdges and sew
– Overcast using an overlocker
These finishing methods are not necessary for hidden edges (turn ups, hems etc…).
When sewing 2 pieces of fabric together do not forget to take into account the millimetres that you are going to cut off or turn over when finishing the edges of your fabric. For example, if you are going to sew with a 1cm seam allowance and you have cut off 3mm you will have to sew with a seam allowance of just 0.7mm!
After sewing the fabric together, you need to iron the seams open:
*** THE QUICKEST METHOD Use pinking shears
This method can be used for fabrics that do not fray. It allows you to save a considerable amount of time. You just need pinking shears.
Cut the edges (as little as possible) with pinking shears.
*** A GOOD COMPROMISE Zigzag stitch
This method can be used for all types of fabric. Zigzag stitch is ideal for preventing edges from fraying.
Use a stitch length of 1.5 and a width of 2. Sew along the inside edge and then cut along the fabric next to the zigzag stitching.
*** THE MOST RESISTANT AND WELL DEFINED Turn over and sew
This method means that you get a very resistant and neat finish on your fabric. It is suitable for cottons or delicate fabric.
Turn the fabric over and sew a seam of about 3mm on the wrong side of the fabric close to the edge using a straight stitch. Then turn the fabric over and sew right side to right side. Iron the seam open.
*** THE MOST PROFESSIONAL METHOD Overcast using an overlocker
This is the most professional method. It gives an impeccable finish. However, you need access to an overlocker. It can be used for all types of fabric.