Sewing School Day 16 ~ 7 Ways to Finish a Plain Seam


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Today I am going to show you different ways to finish plain seams:


PLAIN SEAM ~ Simply pin the fabric right sides together matching raw edges; stitch.  This is the most basic and commonly used seam.

PINK ~   Use a pair of pinking shears to trim the seam allowance after stitching the plain seam; press open or to the side depending what your project requires.  I don’t suggest using this on fabric that frays easily.


STITCHED PINK ~ Press the seam open; stitch 1/4″ from the plain seam on either side of the seam allowance (only stitch the seam allowance.  do NOT stitch the seam allowance to the outer fabric); trim seam with pinking shears close to the stitching.

EDGE STITCHED SEAM~  Fold the raw edge of the fabric under to meet the seam; press; edge stitch at the fold.  This is best on a straight seam.

DOUBLE STITCHED SEAM ~ Stitch plain seam; stitch again 1/4″ in from the first seam.  Trim raw edge (I would use pinking shears here, but if you don’t have them, just trimming with regular scissors will work fine too); press to the side.  This type of finishing also works best on a straight seam.

ZIGZAG ~ Trim the seam allowance to 1/4″ (I forgot to do it here…oops); zigzag the raw edge of the seam allowance.  One side of the zigzag stitch should be just off the raw edge of the fabric.  If you are pressing the seam to the side (pictured), you will zigzag both layers of the seam allowance at the same time then press.  If you are pressing the seam open, press it open first then stitch each side separately.

OVERCAST ~ If your sewing machine has an overcasting stitch, I suggest using it.  This is pretty much the only method I use to finish my seams.  Just like the zigzag, trim the seam allowance to 1/4″. Then, overcast the raw edge.  If you are pressing the seam to one side (pictured), overcast both layers together.  If you are pressing it open, overcast them separately.

BIAS BINDING ~ This is typically used for tailoring or in unlined jackets and coats.  Simply encase the raw edges of the seam allowance in double fold bias tape and stitch.  When you are putting the bias tape on the seam allowance, notice that on side of the bias tape is a little wider than the other.  Put the wider side on the bottom, that way when you stitch the bias tape down, you are sure to catch the edge of the bias tape on the bottom.  Once again, if you are pressing the seam to one side, bind both layers together.  If you are pressing it open, bind them separately (pictured).




  1. […] Baste around the sides and edge stitch across the bottom. Then, finish the sides and top edge of the {A} & {B} panels by overcasting, serging, or […]

  2. […] the short sides together; stitch. Trim the seam allowance down to 1/4″; finish the seam allowance. Press to one side. Baste the tulle to the cotton along the bottom […]

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