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6 Methods to Finish Raw Edges of Fabric Without A Serger

Thinking about finishing the raw edges of fabric might look horrifying without a serger, but you can easily prevent the material from fraying even without one. There are several ways of doing it. Stay with us to know the different techniques of finishing seams beautifully.

How To Finish Raw Edges Of Fabric Without A Serger

Are you worried about finishing seams but do not have a serger to do so? Well, you do not have to worry about it. We have sorted it out for you. There are many ways to finish raw edges without a serger. You can use pinking shears, sew the edges with a zigzag stitch, or mock overlock stitches, or you could turn and straight stitch the material. You can also go for french seams for the same.

Read on to learn various methods of finishing the raw edges of your fabric without a serger. We will discuss the processes in a detailed manner for a better understanding.

Method 1. Finish Raw Edges Using Pinking Shears

Perhaps it is one of the simplest ways of finishing seams. Pinking shears have a serrated blade used to prevent the fabric from fraying with their zigzag cut. This method is best suited for tightly woven materials because they are washed less often. However, it would not be wise to use it on a loosely woven fabric like linen. Let us take a look at its process.


The things that you will require are:

1. Fabric: You can use any quality of fabric to complete your raw edges with the help of pinking shear. You can use crisp fabrics like the chiffon or taffeta for a clean and beautiful zigzag pattern. Crisp fabrics are less thick at the ridge and make it easy to cut through the layers. So, are you performing it for the first time? No worries, just grab the fabric and start off.

2. Pinking Shears: A pinking shear is a type of scissor with saw toothed blades instead of the straight ones. This tool will help you to create a zigzag pattern on the edges of the fabric with great effectiveness. It is a simple yet efficient equipment to finish the raw edges of any fabric. You can get this tool from any stationary shop at cheap prices. So, excited to cut the finishing raw edges of your fabric? Grab your pinking shears now!


Step 1: Sew Your seam. Take two or more layers of fabrics and bind them together. You have to stitch them together with your sewing skills. You can use needles or a sewing machine to stitch them with perfection. After sewing your seam, you will proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Now, clip it with a pair of pinking shears along the edges. You have to simply trim the seam allowance and its edges with the pinking shear. You have to press the seam open and cut it according to your requirement. Say goodbye to fraying and unravelling after pinking the seam of the raw fabric.

Method 2. Use French Seams To Finish The Raw Edges Of Fabric

French seams give a perfect finished look to the raw edges of your fabric. This method works well for children’s wear as it is sturdy. However, it would be best if you do not use french seams for curves. It is also an appropriate method to be used on lightweight woven materials.


The items mentioned below are the must-haves for the process.

1. Sewing Machine: If you wish to finish the raw edges of the fabric with french seams, then keep your sewing machine ready. It is the most crucial item for the process. So, you can use any model with the right accessories to get the perfect finished look of your fabric.

2. Ball Pins: You must have ball pens in this process. You will have to pin the fabric for some adjustments and seam allowance. So, you have to keep a stock of good-quality ball pins.

3. Fabric: You can’t eat without the food, right? So, the fabric becomes a crucial necessity for this process. Without good-quality fabrics, using french seams can be challenging. Additionally, you can use light or crisp fabric for the best sewing and seam allowance.


Step 1: Pin the wrong sides of the fabric together. It would help to keep a 1/4″ seam allowance. You can use the fine-quality ball pins to keep the other side fixed until you make the seam allowance.

Step 2: Now, you have to press the seam allowance on one side. You will have to put the pressure on one side as the other will remain pinned. This will make it easier for you to sew the seam.

Step 3: Pin the right sides of the fabric together with a 3/8″ seam allowance. If you are working on a larger piece or multiple layers of fabric, you can adjust the seam allowance a bit more. It helps in enclosing the first seam and allowing you to have a finished look on the outside. Henceforth, you will enjoy this method for a perfect finish of the raw edges of the fabric.

Method 3. Finish Raw Edges With Zigzag Stitches

If you do not own a pair of pinking shears, you do not have to worry. There is another way of finishing the seams, which is sewing the raw edges with a zigzag stitch. It is one of the most common methods of completing the raw edges of the fabric. The process has been mentioned below.


The following items are a necessity for the process.

1. Fabric: You will have to use two or more layers of fabrics to bind them together for seam. You can use less thick fabric to avoid any bunch up underneath. A crisp fabric will be the best choice for your zigzag stitches. Additionally, it will help you to finish the raw edges with zigzag stitches efficiently.

2. Sewing Machine: One of the prime necessities to finish the raw edge with zigzag stitches is a sewing machine. You have to use a smooth running machine for appropriate patterns. So, set your hands and foot on the machine, and go!


Step 1: It would help adjust the stitch setting to its default, which is 1.5 mm length and 3.5 mm width. However, the setting may differ according to the machine’s brand and the fabric you are using. Zig zag stitches are the most durable one, so ensure to take the right measurements. If you’re using a crisp fabric, you can go with the default setting. After setting, you will have to proceed with the practice session.

Step 2: Practice on a scrap material until you get the perfect zigzag stitch for your fabric. You must know, practice makes you perfect. You will have to focus on enhancing your skills until you get the desired results. Once you achieve excellence in making zigzag stitches, start with your project.

Step 3: There are two methods of finishing the seams. In the first method, sew a seam with the appropriate seam allowance or inlays. It is the area or gap between the fabric edge and the stitch line. You can keep the seam allowance from minimum ? inch to as much as you want.

Step 4: Stitch a zigzag near the seam and trim the excess fabric out. You will have to finish the raw edges of the fabric with your best acquired skills from the practice of zigzag stitches. This step is perfect for armholes and princess seams. Consequently, you can easily use this step to make the perfect seam with zigzag stitches.

Step 5: The second way to finish your garment’s raw edges with a zigzag stitch is to sew the edges before stitching the seams. You can use this alternative way for your convenience. You can feel this step is a bit easier and comfortable as it shows definite results. Thus, this step will help you to neaten the fabric, strengthen it and prevent fraying.

Method 4. Finish Raw Edges of Fabric Using Hong Kong Seam or Bound Seam

A Hong Kong or bound seam is appropriate for finishing raw edges of unlined jackets. It helps in giving it a finished inside look and is suitable for heavyweight woven fabrics.


These are the items required for the process.

  1. Bias Tape: You will need a narrow strip of fabric called bias tape to bind the seam and finish the raw edges.
  2. Sewing Machine: You can use any smooth-functioning sewing machine for sewing the seam and stitching the edges.
  3. A Pair Of Scissors: You can use a sharp-edged simple scissor for cutting the tape or excess fabric.
  4. Fabric: It is necessary to use a few layers of crisp quality fabrics for the best sewing quality and experience.


Step 1: Cut a few yards of bias tape, depending on your garment. You can cut the base tape for a minimum of ? inch to several more.

Step 2: You can use pre-made bias tape for spontaneity and press it. You will have to press it precisely for quick and efficient function.

Step 3: Now, you have to cut the bias tape to the length of the seam you are working on. It would help to cut an extra inch or two. You can cut out the extra tape after finishing the edges.

Step 4: Put the bias and the right sides of the seam allowance together. Then sew them at 1/4″ or more. You can sew it straight without worrying about the other side.

Step 5: In this step, you will simply have to take your tape away. You have to press the tape away from the allowance.

Step 6: Now, you have to encase the binding around the allowance to the other side and then press it. You have to ensure stitching this side with the right seam allowance.

Step 7: Stitch in the ditch starting from the right side to the bias on the other side of the seam. You’re almost done with the method. A couple of steps and your fabric is ready.

Step 8: Cut away the extra tape. Use any scissors to remove the unnecessary fabric and finish the raw edges with an exceptional look.

Step 9: Repeat the same on the other seams. You can now use this method for multiple seams.

Method 5. Finish Raw Edges Of A Fabric With Mock Overlock

Almost all the machines now come equipped with mock overlock stitches. These work just as fine with small projects. Such stitches are also known as overedge overcast stitches. It also requires an overcast foot for the stitches.


You will require the following items for the process.

Sewing Machine: You will have to look for a sewing machine that is equipped with mock overlook stitches. It is also necessary to have the right needles and a foot extension in your machine. You can use the latest sewing machine models for optimum user experience.

Fabric: You will need crisp and good-quality fabric for this method. You can use two or more layers of less thick fabric to prevent unraveling and thus, give the best seam allowance.


Step 1: Take an all-purpose foot if you do not have an overcast foot. This will help to wrap the thread around the edge of the fabric. This little overcast foot will help to edge similar to that of an overlocker.

Step 2: You have to sew with the overcast stitch. This stitch allows you to sew the seam and the zigzag simultaneously. It is one of the most crucial steps as you can save a lot of time with the simultaneous process. You can finish the edges of the fabric with zigzag stitches at the same time with the same efficiency.

Step 3: Now, trim away the excess material. So, get rid of the unnecessary fabric and enjoy the best-looking fabric with the mock overlock method.

Method 6. Turn And Stitch To Finish Raw Edges of Fabric

The turn and stitch method of finishing seams on a piece of fabric is probably one of the oldest ways of doing it. If you have a sewing machine that does not have a zigzag stitch, you can always choose this process to finish your fabric’s raw edges. This method is comparatively more comfortable and does not use much of the thread. Let us take a look at it.


These are the items required for this process.

1. Sewing Machine: Whatever method you choose, you will need a sewing machine. You can use the latest model of sewing machine for better sewing and stitching experience. Furthermore, you have to look for the accessories with the machine, like needles, foot extension, etc. If your sewing machine is top-notch, you will feel fun to turn and stitch to finish the raw edges of fabric.

2. Fabric: As you read now, the fabric is the second crucial item required to perform the stitching. You have to use two or more layers of fabric to sew the seam and stitch the edges. Henceforth, ensure to choose the best quality crisp fabric for a better sewing experience.


Step 1: Sew the seam with the right seam allowance. If you want to finish both seam allowances, don’t press the seam open and start sewing. You can trim the seam allowance to about ? inch. You will have to squeeze both the layers of seam allowance in the bias tape. So, pin it and sew by pressing the seam open.

Step 2: After you are done with the seams, turn the raw edges under the seam allowance. This is where you can successfully execute the turn and stitch method. You will have to show your precise measurements to fold the edges on both sides of the seam. Moreover, you have to fold precisely to avoid any form of fraying.

Step 3: Press the folds and sew with a straight stitch. You can choose zigzag patterns, but they will become too complicated with chances of fraying. You can stitch them in a single straight flow and finish the raw edges of the fabric with exceptional quality. So, your fabric is ready to go!

How Do You Seal Fabric Edges Without Sewing?

If you want to finish the raw edges of fabric without using a serger, sewing machine, or even stitches, then you can use a pair of pinking shears. It is one of the simplest ways of sealing fabric edges without sewing that you will ever come across. These shears cut the edges uneven, which makes it difficult to fray. Using this method is suitable for woven fabric, which is not washed much often.

What Stitch To Use To Keep Fabric From Fraying?

When you are thinking of preventing the fabric from fraying and using a stitch to finish the raw edges, it would be best to go with a zigzag stitch. This stitch is commonly used for securing the seams on a material. Adjust the setting of the stitch to the default, and start sewing. However, it would help if you practiced scrap fabric stitches before going on the final garment. It will help to get the perfect setting for your stitch. Most of the machines come with an overcast stitch, and you can also go for this stitch for a more professional look.

Will Zigzag Stitch Prevent Fraying?

Yes, the zigzag stitch is the most common way to stop the fabric from fraying. You can adjust the setting of the stitch to default and then go on with the sewing. It would be helpful to practice on scrap material before stitching the final fabric. It will also help you achieve the right setting of the stitch.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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