Sunday, July 17, 2011

To Finish or Not To Finish

There's been a bit of talk for a little while about finishing seams. A few years ago when I was a part of an eBay sewing group, someone in the group brought the subject up.

Apparently there are people who sew an entire garment without finishing any edges. When I first heard this, I was taken aback! I thought finishing edges was a given when sewing a garment. Surely these people were far and in-between! But alas, I've encountered the topic several times since that first. I even read an article about buying boutique clothimg that stated you shouldn't buy items that fall into this category.

The final straw was when a relative of mine had a dress made recently by some local seamstresses, and after she paid for the dress and brought it home, she realized not only weren't the edges finished, but the seams weren't even trimmed! So she brought the dress to me to complete.

I remember my days of pinking shears. It was the method my mom originally taught me to keep seams from ravelling. This truly was a tried and true method, but man did those funny looking scissors set you back a penny!

Then I graduated to zigzags and trimming. Of course, this took longer than just cuttin a seam into zigzags with a pair of scissors, but it was a step closer to professionalism.

Next came the overstitch, a benefit I gained from purchasing a good Brother machine. I have to say I really used this up! It was a little time consuming because I had to keep switching out the feet, but the end result was well worth it. I could trim a seam, then stitch right on the edge to secure it.

I overstitched for a long time until one day my mom bought herself a serger. She raved about it and told me I really needed to get one. I actually told her no, because I was afraid I'd cut the wrong thing (not to mention my finger!), and once something is cut, you can't go back! But one day I sucked it up and used her serger. The rest is history! I had to have one, and convinced my husband I couldn't live without it!

So my journey through finishing seams was a bumpy one, but it's something I've always done. I can't imagine not doing it. If not for the professional looking finish, then just to avoid work at a later date by securing the seams so they won't unravel.

But maybe it's me. Do most seamstresses out there feel the way I do, or is leaving unfinished untrimmed seams just something that's done?

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