Learn to sew: How to finish seams and hems without having an overlock

In our sewing class today we show you how to make good finish seams and hems with your sewing machine. Have you ever wondered if with a normal flat machine you can make all the stitches or if an overlock is necessary?

An overlock, also known as a serger, differs from a traditional sewing machine in that it is capable of sewing with two, three, four or five threads. Is a kind of stitch that sews over the edge of one or two pieces of cloth for edging, hemming, or seaming. Usually, an overlock sewing machine will cut the edges of the cloth as they are fed through. in All in one step to prevent the fabric from fraying.

It is ideal for sewing elastic fabrics such as jersey, sweat, lycra and knit in general. Its biggest advantage is that it leaves an impeccable and professional finish inside your clothes.

But do not worry, with a domestic sewing machine you can also do a similar stitch in the seams and prevent them from fraying.

slide remates y dobladillos

How to finish seams and hems

In general, all fabrics tend to fray at the edges. Some more than others.

telas katia fabrics

In domestic sewing machines, there are two stitches mainly that you can use to make your overlock touch.

puntadas de remallado

In the case of the poplin fabrics with a simple zigzag stitch or overlock stitch of your domestic machine, it would be enough to leave the seams finished off. Make sure that when making this type of stitch one of the stitches is outside the fabric and another inside. This stitch covers the edge completely.

zig zag y remallado

puntada overlock

Elastic fabrics

The jersey and sweat are two fabrics that practically do not fray and you could leave them without finishing off perfectly, but if you want, you can use the same two stitches that we have seen previously for the poplin. Important: remember to use the needle that is suitable for stretch, jersey or ballpoint stretch fabric.

tipos de aguja tejidos elásticos


To make seams on these fabrics you can use a zigzag stitch with less width to maintain elasticity. And to make hems on cuffs and necklines you can use a normal zigzag stitch or use a straight stitch with a twin needle. The twin needle leaves a straight double seam on the right side of the fabric and a small zigzag on the reverse. It is a very interesting and useful stitch, leaving a very professional finish.

aguja gemela


We hope these tips help you make better finishes in your seams and keep moving forward in your projects.

Katia Fabrics

Find all the fabrics we used in this post in Katia Shops and in our online sales platform KatiaShop.


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