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Forum > Sewing Techniques and Tips > Finishing seams quickly to prevent unraveling ( Moderated by MissCelie)

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Finishing seams quickly to prevent unraveling
I don't own a serger and can't afford one
jynclr
jynclr
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Texas USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 868
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Date: 3/9/12 10:43 AM

So I was thinking of getting a side cutter foot to make various covers for various items and selling them while I look for work (I am a software developer.)

The reason I was thinking of a side cutter is because I don't want to get a serger (especially since I really can't spend the money right now) so I thought I'd simulate a serged seam with one of these side cutter presser feet. I know Miss Helen V has an over-edging stitch and thought I'd use a side cutter with it.

However, the reviews I've read on here and threads I've found lead me to the conclusion that I should save that money and not bother with a side cutter. If that's the case, use the $30 as seed money for fabric and thread to make product.

Several questions:
1) Are those side cutters REALLY THAT BAD? I'll be working with woven material.

2) How then should I finish a seam so they don't unravel? I have used a quick zig zag on other seams, but I'd like this to look a bit more professional.

Thank you for the suggestions and sewing tips on this.

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550



Member since 12/31/69
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Date: 3/9/12 10:55 AM

French seam works well and finishes them nicely.



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Date: 3/9/12 11:17 AM

I often use the widest zig zag and the overedge foot. It doesn't look the least bit unprofessional and holds up very well - think 5 yo dd's play clothes. Most people will not examine your seam allowances anyway. The zig zag is quick and durable. I don't have the space and haven't ever felt the need to use a serger just so my seam finishes *don't* look hand crafted.

stirwatersblue
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stirwatersblue
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Kansas USA
Member since 12/13/08
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Date: 3/9/12 11:26 AM

Not sure what you're making, but you might think about having the SAs exposed on the outside, and then binding them with bias tape. That would look sharp and professional.

------
~Gem in the prairie

beauturbo
beauturbo
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California USA
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 3/9/12 12:41 PM

Yes, the bolt onto a sewing machine side cutter things are really that bad and about worthless. They have been around for a long time, and have always been pretty much that way, and nothing new has or will probably ever change about that. Don't waste $29 or whatever on any of them, if money is tight and it really counts a lot to you. Instead put that good $29 into maybe a nice good used overlocker, one that costs maybe more like $250 to $300 now, that used to be more a higher priced $500 and plus overlocker, at some prior point in time. Then your important and valued to you $29 or whatever, actually counts towards something that is useful and a good tool instead.

beauturbo
beauturbo
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 3/9/12 12:50 PM

An open 3 step zig zag (3 stitches next to each other for each zig and zag) lies a lot flatter as a raw seam finish than a regular open zig zag, just since more reinforcing stitches in there, and a lot less push and pull factors going on, on the edge of that fabric then.

Also seam binding, french seams ass mentioned previous and even pressing a seam open, turning the edges under and even hand slip stitching in place is nice. That is actually pretty quick too, if done while watching TV or such. Lots of people have done with out a loverlocker for decades and decades, until maybe they get one someday or not, so while so very nice to have, but not everyone has one at all. Also, the very very best and very most expensive highly made clothing, would not have even any overlocker stitches in it at all, and actually more hand finished instead. So maybe brush up on your hand finishing techniques too.

PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 3/9/12 2:26 PM

Buy and use pinking shears to trim after stitching the seam.

The bias cuts made by the shears help prevent fraying.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

jynclr
jynclr
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Texas USA
Member since 12/20/11
Posts: 868
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Date: 3/9/12 5:24 PM

sew ducky: Ooh! I like that! I've had some experience with French seams. I'll experiment with it.

mommy@last: I had to look up over edge foot. I saw a youtube.com video of the over edge presser foot. Nice! I did not know those existed! I have some gift card money on Amazon that I can use to get one.

stirwatersblue: Very nice idea. You know those die cutting machines like the Cricut and Sizzix eClips? Well, I have a cover pattern for the Cricut Expression and I can make one for the eClips. That's the kind of cover I was thinking of. Just something simple to throw over. I'll also be expanding into eReader covers too. As for the bias binding, I think that's a great idea. I'll work on that too.

beauturbo: Thank you for confirming! I think I'll use the money for fabric instead.

PattiAnnJ: You know, I never understood how pinking fabric prevents it from fraying. I'll be getting pinking shears and trying your suggestion out too. I need a pair anyway.

------
Evelyn: Pfaff Creative Performance
Helen V: Babylock Companion BL1550

heathergwo
heathergwo  Friend of PR
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California USA
Member since 11/14/11
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Date: 3/9/12 6:34 PM

Before my serger (and even now on some seams, like fitted sleeves), I still use pinking shears... they are AWESOME, cheap, easy and do the job! Also, french seams get my vote too!

------
Brother Innovis 1250D
Babylock Enlighten
Singer Curvy 8763
Brother 1034D
Janome 385.19606
Brother 2340CV

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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Texas USA
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In reply to jynclr


Date: 3/9/12 6:46 PM

Talk about timing...

We're without satellite and have three channels and its raining. I was pleasantly surprised to find Nancy Zieman's show on at 5 in the afternoon - woohoo!

Today's show? Runway Finishes For Cool Edges Part 1 Perfectly shows what would take about three pages for me to describe. And, I'm looking forward to checking out part 2 since I now know how to get to it. The guest is Linda Lee. If the link does not work, just google Linda Lee runway finishes.

I do have the 'edgestitch' foot which was referred to as a 'hemstitching' foot when I bought my machine 30 years ago. Great foot and I do use it all the time for the applications shown and just about anything that calls for a nice straight stitch along some sort of edge.

Now, what is this Magic Thread that they mentioned?

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

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