After sewing a seam in a garment, it is possible to make the inside of the piece as pretty and neat as the outside!
There are several seam finishing techniques that can be used, and like the others, this one also provides a clean and elevated look on the inside of the completed garment. The turn and stitch seam is fairly simple, but it does take a few extra steps to complete.
The end result is a professional looking clean finished seam that hides the raw edges of the fabric and keeps them from fraying.
Why should I finish a seam?
There are several reasons to finish a seam. One reason is that this makes it possible to have the inside of the garment look very clean and finished with no raw edges. It gives a very professional look to clothing.
The most important reason is to keep the raw edges of the fabric from fraying. When a seam is sewn, the raw edges of the seam allowance are left free. With much wear and washing, the edges can become frayed and unraveled.
Using a finishing technique will hide raw edges, give a professional look as well as keep the fabric from fraying.
Learn more about the turn and stitch finishing technique by watching our video or keep reading this post.
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What is a turned and stitched finish?
This is a quick finishing technique that will keep the raw edges of the fabric tucked under and out of sight.
The edge of each side of the seam allowance is folded under and then stitched close to the folded edge on each side.
Is turn and stitch a good finishing technique?
There are two schools of thought on this turn and stitch technique. Some accomplished sewists believe this finishing technique should only be used on garments that will be strictly dry cleaned since the raw edges of the fabric may fray.
The belief is that this is a fine finishing technique for medium weight fabrics like those used for coats, jackets, and heavy dresses or shirts with a tighter weave that does not unravel easily.
The turned and stitched finish does enclose the raw edges, but it does not completely contain the fabrics to keep them from fraying.
This group thinks this is not a strong enough finishing seam for items that will see much machine washing.
However, the popular opinion is that the turn and stitch finishing technique is a nice and tidy seam finish for any stable fabrics which press well and will hold a firm crease, even a cotton fabric.
Sewists who employ this finishing technique don't often use this with high fraying fabrics. When they do, they usually use an over edge stitch like serging or a zig-zag stitch prior to the final folding and edge stitching to provide long term durability.
This will extend the garment's life as it goes through much wear and many washing machine cycles.
WHAT YOU NEED to make a clean finished seam
- A raw seam
- Threaded sewing machine
- Ironing board
INSTRUCTIONS: How to Make a turned and stitched seam
STEP 1: press the seam allowance Open
Begin by pressing the seam allowances open.
STEP 2: Turn seam allowance Under
Next, tuck the raw edge of the seam allowance under and toward the wrong side of the fabric touching the seam. For example, If the seam allowance is 1/2", fold under 1/4" on each side.
The larger the folded intake, the more protected the edges will be from unraveling.
Iron the folded seam flat.
Fold the other side of the seam inwards and press it flat.
Both seam raw edges are folded under and the seam is pressed flat.
It is important to make each side of the seam allowance the same width. Firmly press the folded edges with the iron.
STEP 3: sew along the folded edges
Next, take the fabric to the sewing machine. Arrange the fabric so all of the layers are to the left and only the seam allowance layer is underneath the presser foot.
Sew close to the folded edge from top to bottom, making sure to back tack at the beginning and end of the stitching.
Now sew the other side. All of the layers should be to the left so the stitching is just sewn through the seam allowance, stitching the turned edge in place.
Press the seam once again to firmly set the stitches.
Now the turned and stitch finishing technique is done. The seams look neat and professional.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial showing how to sew a turn and stitch seam.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
Other seam finishing techniques
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