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How and When to Use a Zigzag Seam Finish

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Sew the stitch so that the right side of the stitch goes

Sew the stitch so that the right side of the stitch goes "just" off the edge of the fabric, enclosing the threads of the fabric.

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com

Zigzag Seam Finish:

A zigzag seam finish is simply zigzag stitching applied to the raw edge of a seam allowance.

This seam finish can be used on almost any seam to enclose the raw edge and prevent fraying.

Vary the stitch width and stitch length to prevent extra bulk that may prevent the seam from laying neatly or may cause extra bulk that would show through to the correct side of the seam when it is pressed.

How to Sew a Zigzag Seam Finish:

  • Sew a Seam.
  • Press as directed.
  • Set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch and test the stitch on a scrap of fabric.
  • Sew the stitch so that the right side of the stitch goes "just" off the edge of the fabric, enclosing the threads of the fabric.(1)
  • If the seam is pressed to one side, treat the seam allowance as one piece. (2) If the seam allowance is pressed open, treat each part of the seam allowance separately. (3)
  • Press the seam again once you have finished sewing the seam finish.
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