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Forum > Beginner's Forum > Should you finish the edges of all your unhemmed seams? (woven fabric) ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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Should you finish the edges of all your unhemmed seams? (woven fabric)
When to finish your edges and when to leave them alone
sewgerenuk
sewgerenuk
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Date: 6/7/13 7:38 PM

Iím making a pencil skirt out of a polyester gabardine that tends to fray at the edges. The pattern instructions donít call for me to finish the side seams or the vent and Iím worried about how this will do in the wash.

How should I finish the edges? Or should I just use an overcast stitch for all the seams and leave the edges alone?

Iím having trouble using the overcasting stitch because of tunneling. The fabric is just too flimsy and I donít want to have to interface the entire side seam, and it still tunnels with the interfacing anyway. I'm pretty sure it's not a tension issue and Iím using a brand new size 9 needle with an overcasting foot. Should I just buy a temporary wash-out fabric stabilizer/stiffener?

The garment will be lined and it has a 5/8" seam allowance.

mgmsrk1
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In reply to sewgerenuk <<


Date: 6/7/13 8:16 PM

On any flat seams I would use french seams and since over cast stitches are giving you a problem zig zag is unlikely to help so I would do bias tape bound seems.

If the fabric frays now it will not improve with washing and wearing.

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KathleenS
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Date: 6/7/13 8:43 PM

Or you could use pinking shears, but I guessing you don't have those. I agree you should do some sort of edge finish or you're going to have constant problems with frayed threads hanging from your skirt (by the sound of your fabric).

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 6/7/13 9:50 PM

Since the skirt is going to be lined and an overcast stitch is tunneling what I would do is use a straight stitch as close to the cut edge as you can. The fabric will still fray up to that point but not past it.

Debbie

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Date: 6/7/13 10:35 PM

I have a few old garments, including a shirt I made for a boyfriend, that have very fine fabric and as an impatient teenager, I just zig zagged over the edges, either with the seam allowances together or pre-stitched before sewing the pieces together. Once they are pressed they lie very flat. If I had known they would still be in existence after all these years (in a trunk- not worn) I might have taken a little more care, but honestly, you cannot tell from the outside. The boyfriend is still around, too!

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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/7/13 11:17 PM

You do not want the finished edge to leave an imprint when the garment is pressed.

The lining well eliminate a lot of the fraying.

Before the home serger became available, we stitched 1/4 inch from the raw edge and then trimmed with linking shears.

Fiskers brand works well and they are not too expensive.
-- Edited on 6/7/13 11:19 PM --

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

Marie367
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In reply to sewgerenuk <<
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Date: 6/7/13 11:55 PM

Before I had a serger, I would zigzag just inside the edges (never on the edge) and trim. Pinking shears are great too. I might even do both zigzag just inside the edge and then trim by pinking.

sewgerenuk
sewgerenuk
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In reply to mgmsrk1 <<


Date: 6/8/13 4:20 AM

Unfortunately both side seams are curved, (they follow the hip down to the knee) so I'm guessing french seams will add too much bulk and distort the curve. I'm not sure bias tape here won't produce the same problem. Am I wrong?

sewgerenuk
sewgerenuk
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Date: 6/8/13 4:23 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies. Pinking shears seem to be getting the popular vote. I actually do have a pair I inherited but I've never used them before. I usually sew knits and just overcast everything. How do pinked edges hold up over time?
-- Edited on 6/8/13 4:24 AM --

SandiMacD
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Date: 6/8/13 5:21 AM

Depends on the fabric but usually lasts long past the time you out grow or style changes.

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