Welcome to my third post in the “Finish Seams without a Serger” series. In this series I’m teaching you how to make your sewing more professional even if you don’t own a Serger. So far I’ve already covered how to sew a French seam and a false French seam. Today, I’m showing you how to sew a clean finish.
I first learned to use a clean finish at the edge of a facing, but it can be used in seam allowances as well. This finishing technique is beneficial because it allows you to press the seam open, creating less bulk than sewing the seam allowance all together. It also happens to be my sewing professor’s favorite type of finish. She worked in the garment industry for thirty years before teaching university classes. I soaked everything she told me like a sponge, and the tips I didn’t follow came back to bite me later.
It is made by turning the edges of the seam allowance under, pressing them, and sewing them. It is similar to creating half a hem. Here’s how:
As with all of these, if this technique is new to you I recommend practicing with two scrap rectangles first, as shown here.
Sew a normal seam with a seam allowance of 5/8″.
Press the seam open.
Press the edges underneath so the raw edge is against the fabric of the garment.
Sew along the edge to hold the fold in place.
This technique can also be difficult on very curved seams, but on straight seams it is so simple! If you are a beginner and find it’s hard for you to sew on such a little edge, just take your time and practice lots!