Zig-Zag Edges

Sometimes, you just want to finish an edge really really fast – you don’t care if it looks pretty up close.  (Like, say, you’re working on a show where everyone seems to wear a veil that the audience can see through, but the characters mysteriously cannot… Not that that ever happens.)  The zig-zag stitch on your sewing machine is the poor man’s serger…

Sample:

A zig-zagged edge.

A zig-zagged edge.

Critical Stats:

Width: 0-1/8″
Seam Allowance Required: 0″

Process:

Position fabric so that the edge of the fabric lines up with the middle of the foot.

Set your machine to a medium width (3-4), medium length (3) zig-zag stitch.Position fabric so that the edge of the fabric lines up with the middle of the foot.

The finished edge - the zig-zag stitches wrap over the edge of the fabric, sealing it.

The finished edge - the zig-zag stitches wrap over the edge of the fabric, sealing it.

You might be having sort of a “Well, duh” response right now.  I admit this is less than overwhelming, but it does have some important applications.  First off, this actually is the best way to finish a veil in a big bad hurry.  It’s also a good idea to run a zig-zag over the edge of fabric you plan to gather – it keeps the seam allowance from disintegrating into a thready mess as you’re pulling the gathers down.

Zig-zagged seam allowances

Running a zig-zag stitch down your seam allowances is a quick way to finish the seam so it won't fray and/or become a mess in the wash.

Fold the fabric back from the seam so you're sewing through a single seam allowance at a time.

Fold the fabric back from the seam so you're sewing through a single seam allowance at a time.

Why not do both at once?  Because it will add bulk and may make the seam mis-behave in strange and unpredictable ways.

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