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4 Professional Ways to Finish Seams Without a Serger Machine Full Guide of 2023

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professional-seams-finishes-without_sergerIn this sewing tutorial, you will learn 4 professional ways to finish seams without using a Serger.

This tutorial also includes some simple short videos to help you understand it better.


When sewing, seaming a dress, shirts, pants or whatever of any material, you usually join two pieces of fabric together.

You know what happened to any kind of fabric when you cut it – dangling loose ends, fraying threads, etc.

Not fun!

This easy-to-follow guide will help you create a professional seam with no serger.

What you’ll need for this tutorial:

  • sewing machine
  • some pieces of fabric
  • threads
  • sewing or quilting iron
  • flat needle (recommended) or ballpoint needle
  • cloudy foot
  • pinking shears (recommended) or knife shears
  • seaming machine – for the case that an error

Follow some pieces of fabric

  1. Plain seams with clean edge finish

The easiest way to create a professional-looking seam without using a Serger is to create a solid seam with a clean edge finish.

A plain seam is the most common type of machine sewn seam. It joins two pieces of fabric face-to-face by sewing both pieces, leaving a seam allowance with raw edges in the work – [Wikipedia]

The trick here is these raw edges clearing or overcasting

What do we use a solid seam for?

A flat stitch with a tight edge finish when making more expensive clothes, such as shirts, dresses, pants.

How to make a solid seam

Here’s how to create a professional double fabric seam finish. Follow the steps below and watch the following video if it is not clear enough. I assume you already have the two pieces of fabric to assemble.

Step 1:

Place the two pieces of materials together right sides together and wrong sides also facing each other.

plain step 1

Same sides of fabric stacked

Step 2:

One 3/8″ Using -1/2â €³surcharge sew a simple straight stitch on the wrong side of the fabric. Normally you should always sew from the wrong side.

plain step 2

Sew from the wrong side

Step 3:

After sewing, open the fabric or material allowance and iron with a sew bolt.


fabric seam allowance open for ironing

Step 4:

Fold each side by approximately ¼ inch inch from the allowance (or half the length), then sew a straight stitch on each.


Fold on each side of the seam allowance


Sewing a straight stitch on both folded seam allowances

Tooltips: For the very long fabric length, you can use a ballpoint needle to hold the folded fabrics before sewing. Another option, which I always recommend for better results, is the flat tip needle.

Another option:

If you have a fabric that does not fray easily, you can skip part of step 4 (ie the ¼ inch folds before sewing).


Pinking scissors used for plain steam fabric that does not fray easily no creases

To make it look even more professional and beautiful, use pinking scissors to cut out about 1/ 5 inches of the raw edges after step 2 and sew a straight stitch on both sides. If you do that, you will have something like the image above (uses a different material and thread color just for illustration).

That’s it – a simple guide to creating a professional solid seam with a clean edge finish.

Not clear yet? Watch this short YouTube video.

This demonstration is a simple solid seam that is finished by turning a single hem on each side of the seam.

I must clarify that there are many variations of flat seam finishes. You can play with the finish, such as zigzagging each side of the seam separately or using a binding.

Now let’s look at the second method of creating a professional looking seam without serger.

  1. French seems with clean finish

A French Hem is usually used on a very delicate fabric before finishing the seam allowance to prevent thread fraying or fraying.

French seam helps to clean the edges of fabrics, creating a clean, professional finish on both sides (inside and out) of the garment†“ [sewneau]

What we use a French hem for:

Usually used for making short sleeves or dress sleeves.

How to make a French seam

Here’s how to make a French seam without using an overlook machine. Follow the steps below and watch the next video if it is not clear enough.

Step 1:

Repeat Step 1 of Tutorial 1 but this time the wrong side should envelop each other as shown below:


Wrong side of fabric pieces wrapped or stacked

Step 2

Use a smaller margin of inches and sew a simple straight seam on the right side of the used materials. Unlike the solid seam, this time you have to sew on the right side.


sew on the right side of the set-in fabrics

Step 3

Open the joined fabric and fold to expose the wrong side so that the right side matches.


Fold–Move 1


Fold–Move 2

Step 4:

Sew with a seam allowance slightly above what we used in step 2 (feel a little what something already sewed). Here, about 1/3-inch allowance. The idea is to sew just above the hidden seam on the other side, or right on top of it.


stitch with approximately 1/3-inch seam allowance

If you want to make it even smoother now, you can just fold it down and make a neat straight seam on top.


If you’re into sewing again: right at the top for a smooth finish

Tooltips: some ironing to get it to level and tidy up.

In the end this is how it would be on the inside and outside of the fabric.

inside - french seams

inside–wrench seams
outside - french seams
outside—trench seams

Not clear, see this video for more Information:

  1. Flat Felled Seam

Felled seam, popularly known as a flat-fell seam, is a type of seam created by hiding and moving one edge into another folded edge of the fabric to sew down the fold.

Usually for a smoother finish, it includes a topstitching seam – Perfect for keeping seam allowances flat and covering edges that fray

What do we use flat sheet seam for?

Flat sheet seams for professional clothing such as your retails Jeans, blouses, trouser legs, dress sleeve high – end denim,. because of its neat finish, it for men’s clothing at most.

How to make a flat felled seam

Here’s how to sew a flat sheet seam without using a Serger. Follow the steps below and watch the following video if necessary to create a flat sheet seam.

Step 1

Follow step 1 from Tutorial 1

Step 2

Follow step 2 from Tutorial 2

Step 3

Cut part of the seam allowance down leaving only ¼ inch or half. Then fold the uncut seam to hide the fraying or edges of the cut seams. Fold again to cover the uncut seam edges.


Part of the seam allowance has been trimmed


Hide the edges or fraying of the trimmed seam allowance


Trim seam allowance is completely hidden


Second fold hides the edges or fraying of the uncut seams

Step 4

Sew or sew 2 straight stitches on the seams with almost no allowance (as close to ¼ inch).


Sewing the seams after folding

Wrong side flat

Wrong side–flat felled seam

If you do well with ironing and the last seam with almost no allowance, get something like this below.

Finished – flat felled seam

Ready – flat sheet seam

Tooltips: use threads that match the fabric.

It is clear that with these types of seams, the inside looks like the outside. You can choose to place the inside on the outside. It all depends on what you want (just toggle step 1 cloth case).

Not very clear? Watch this video:

  1. Welt seam with top finish

A welt seam resembles a cut seam but is less bulky. Rather than folding over and pressing the “top” seam allowance, it with a zigzag stitch or pinking shears and then sewn (the top finished case).

What do we use a flat drop seam for?

Steel seams for lining garments or bags. It gives a pleasant look to the lining of a bag, clothes and especially to materials that fray easily

How to make a piping seam

Here’s how a French seam without using an overlook sewing machine. Follow my steps below and watch the next video if you are not clear.

Step 1

Follow step 1 from Tutorial 1

Step 2

Follow step 2 from Tutorial 2

Step 3

Cut off some of the seam allowance, leaving about ½ of it.


Cut or edge finish of the uncut seam allowance

Cut or edge finish only a small portion of the uncut seam to prevent it from fraying. I recommend using pinking shears if the fabrics don’t fray so much. But if it does fray, you can use an overcasting zigzag stitch to sew the uncut seam instead of using pinking shears.

Then press the seams margin to one side to cover the cut seam or the shorter seam with the uncut seam with a sewing iron. This will hide any fraying or edges of the trimmed seams.

Step 4

Then sew the fold together, just close to the edge with minimal seam allowance.


Sewing the fold – piping seam


Steel seam – after sewing the wrong side

Finally turn the fabric over and add a top stitch on the right side. Again, for a neater finish, you can’t do without ironing the fabric or the seams.


Add a top stitch–piping


Finished seam with topstitching – right side

Finish welt seam – wrong side

End seam – wrong side

Try to keep equal distances or stitch parallel. You will be consistent and perfect if you do these two or three times as an exercise. Trust me, after this you would come up with your own technique a Welt Seam with a professional look.

If you are still not clear I found this video below by Miss Sew very clear, concise and easy to follow.


So that it’s guys.

If you don’t have an overlocker or sewing machine, here are 4 great ways to keep your steam from fraying or make your fabric look more professional.




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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.