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Friday, March 20, 2015

Sewing a Clean-Finish or Turn & Stitch Seam

I often get e-mails asking about certain sewing techniques, especially seams and seam finishes. Usually these requests are really just to clarify terms (such as the word "pink" in relation to sewing). Commercial patterns today assume a certain level of knowledge, so sometimes a pattern will ask you to do something simple, but not actually explain what that 'simple' thing is.

Such is the case with clean-finish seams, sometimes referred to as turn & stitch seams. Clean-finish is just a nice way of saying "don't leave the raw edges visible". It's a good choice to help prevent fraying on light to medium weight fabrics and it's fairly easy to accomplish.

First, iron your seam so that it's both flat and open. You should have done this already, but if you haven't, do it now. Once your seam is ironed, fold the raw edge of the seam allowance to the wrong side of the fabric. You only need to fold it ⅛" to ¼", so don't get carried away. Iron your fold before proceeding. This will keep it from slipping and driving you batty.

Stitch close to the fold to finish your seam. If you like you might want to trim some of the excess, but this is typically unnecessary for this type of seam. Iron your finished turn & stitch seam just to make everything lay flat. It will look prettier this way.

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