Sometimes, you have to finish a seam allowance so it won’t fray. (Or, possibly, you’re like me and compulsively finish seams, whether they need it or not.) There are times when you can’t use a french seam, or you are working in an area too tight for a felled seam, and you want something nicer than an overcast edge. This method of finishing a seam allowance by hand will prevent them from fraying, and lightly reinforce the seam.
Pro: Will Not Fray
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…
Yes, I said perfect. I’ve made a lot of turned hems over the years. The official Right Way To Do It(tm) involves ironing. While that’s a great habit in sewing, it takes time and it’s a little risky when you have two cats in the room. I forget where I stumbled upon this technique, but it works like a charm even for those of us who suffer from advanced iron-itis.
The machine rolled hem is, of course, completely not period before the advent of sewing machines and special task machine feet. But it’s neat, it’s quick once you get the hang of it, and it’s a fantastic way to finish simple linens.
This technique produces a lovely hem – fully finished, and with a decorative ribbon right at the edge.
This is the ultra-thin version of the French Seam. It’s very useful if you’re making fine linen pieces (like coifs), or if you’re working with dolls and cannot divorce yourself from the idea of fully finished seams….
The French Seam is my favorite seam of all time. It’s fully encased and leaves no visible stitching on the right side of the garment. Any time I have to make an unlined garment, you can bet I’m using french seams (or some variant thereof).
The Fake Flat Fell Seam makes a fully finished seam that is identical on both the front and back sides. This is useful for transparent fabrics or applications where both the front and back are visible. So far as I know, it’s not a real seam, but the result of my inability to follow simple directions for a proper flat fell.