Six Easy Ways to Finish a Seam Without a Serger and Another Refashion Handbook Giveaway

Back in junior high school, I made my tall, blonde, guitar playing boyfriend a western style, woven, plaid shirt. Oh, I was so proud of how well it fit him and it was one of the most involved sewing projects I had mastered at the time. I concentrated on getting all the seams to match up perfectly, measuring the hems to perfection and not to mention all the buttonholes I had to make. It was truly a labor of young love.

However, I did neglect to finish off any of the inside seams. Which, thinking of it now, I’m sure horrified his couture seamstress mother. Norma never said a word about the unfinished seams, in fact, she was quite gracious and raved about the shirt to me. But the next time I saw the shirt, all of the inside seams were lovingly finished with double fold bias tape. So this tutorial is for you, Norma, wherever you are! Thanks for finishing that shirt for me so long ago and I promise, I’ll always remember to finish my seams because of you.


Using a serger is one way to get beautifully finished seams, but if you don’t happen to have a serger, there are many ways to finish your seams with a regular machine.

Click here to see how to easily finish your seams with your regular sewing machine. While you’re there, if you’d like to pin the post and leave a comment, I’ll put your name into another drawing for my new book, The Refashion HandbookI will announce the winner next Saturday. Thank you so much for taking the time to pin and comment. You all really know how to brighten my day!

The Refashion Handbook

Congratulations to Barbara Heathcote, you are the winner of The Refashion Handbook from last week’s maxi skirt post. Send your address to me at so I can get your book to you ASAP.

For more refashion inspiration:


About The Renegade Seamstress

I'm a busy wife, mom, grandma, and teacher who loves to create. I've joined the refashion scene and I 'd like to share and connect with all those talented and creative people out there doing similar things.
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47 Responses to Six Easy Ways to Finish a Seam Without a Serger and Another Refashion Handbook Giveaway

  1. Mother Deer says:

    Very well-written tutorial with beautiful illustrations.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

  2. LauraLee says:

    Even though I already have a copy (Kindle format) of your book, I pinned this post because it is useful!
    I also do know how to finish seams, with or without a serger, but I’m not the only person who looks at my pins and you’ve laid this out very well! Thank you!

  3. Molly Lucien says:

    Beth, I had to laugh at your post about sewing for the high school boyfriend! I made mine an imitation of an Izod polo shirt… Even went so far as to take the alligator off one of my dad’s old shirts so I could sew it onto the boyfriend’s shirt. What we did for those boys!!!

  4. Rozy says:

    Glad to know there are more like me who made a boyfriend a shirt. I gave it to him the same night he told me he was engaged to someone else. I survived and have been married to a much better guy for over 26 years. I’ve pinned this to my sewing board so I can refer to it. Always nice to learn something new. Your creativity is inspiring! Would love a copy of your book.

  5. yategirl says:

    Brilliant post about finishing and so clear to read. A serger is on my wish list but for now I will use your tips!

  6. Barbara Mozdy says:

    Thank you for this information. I have never before been able to figure out how to finish the seams when working with a sheer fabric, and consequently have avoided using them. Not any more!

  7. erinfromiowa says:

    If I win your book I will gift it to my oldest daughter. She has the sewing machine and creative genes yet doesn’t sew. I think your book would inspire her to bust out and use them!

  8. Marie1846 says:

    I have to admit I never made anything for a man, until I was married to him. Your post is very inspiring, the inside really does matter!

  9. Melbee says:

    What a great and timely tutorial….my 13 year old son wants a wizard costume for Hallowe’en….to be made on my great granny’s old manual sewing machine( he is autistic and doesn’t like the ‘noisy machine that growls’ 😊 )….so as it only straight stitches, this tute is fab….think we will try the French seams, thank so much Beth.x 😊

  10. Ruth L says:

    Great tutorial! I’ve been sewing for a few years, but haven’t ever gotten around to buying a serger. I’m sure I’d learn to love it, but it’s a very big purchase and I’ve gotten pretty good at french seams! The idea of refashioning is new to me, but I love finding new ways to save. I’ve pinned this post and would love to win a copy go your book!
    Warm regards,
    Ruth L

  11. Elena says:

    I’ve pinned your very useful and compact tutorial onto my sewing board! Very well laid out and explained. Thank you!

  12. Pinned it! I’ve always finished with a zigzag stitch. LOved the french seam idea. Cant wait to try it. Pls. enter me the drawing. I’d love to lay a hand on your book and try all your fun techniques. Big Fan! 🙂

  13. Myra Thor says:

    Thanks, I don’t have a served but now I can have finished seams. Great tutorial!

  14. smenzmer says:

    Just pinned–hope I win the book! Would absolutely love to have it! And thanks for this tutorial–I learned some seam finishing methods. I did not know about!

  15. Cindy says:

    I love your blog and seeing what you do with all the refashions. Thanks for the giveaway.

  16. mari says:

    Another great skirt….love the fabric.

  17. Ah I love this tutorial! So useful, I would have pinned it even without the book incentive! 🙂

  18. Debbie says:

    Great post, as of today I have only finished my seams with pinking scissors, but now I am going to try the suggestions in your tutorial. I love your Blog. Oh, by the way I bought a leather coat for $6 at a Goodwill 50% off Sat. yesterday and will tackle the purse project over the holidays. I wish I had time to start now.

  19. Tabitha Klucking says:

    I pinned it! I am so excited about your blog and all of your tutorials. I’d LOVE this book!

  20. I can’t wait to get myself a copy!!!

  21. lindsayscalco says:

    I just used a serger for the first time yesterday and it was life-changing! I’d love for you to review some sergers one day if your ever hunker-down and buy one. As for now, I’m with you, sewing my seams with my good ole fashion sewing machine.

  22. Autumn says:

    Pinned this to my Sewing Project board. I would love to be entered into the drawing for your book. I left a comment on the seams post, so I won’t repeat it here. However, your tutorial was excellent!

  23. Lucy Salerno says:

    Great Ideas! I simply can’t afford a serger so this comes in very handy. Thanks!

  24. prttynpnk says:

    So Im not the only serger-shy gal? Im a big fan of pinking then zigzagging over it. Overkill?

  25. Jen says:

    I also made a shirt for my boyfriend in high school!! It was short sleeved, button front, no collar and plaid. Of course I never thought about matching the plaids!!! He wore it anyway and it must not have bothered him too much…..he married me!!

  26. Gina says:

    I own a serger but it looks complicated and stressful. Your way is better. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  27. lajeanne says:

    Sooo happy I found you !!! I have just started sewing and lost instructions to my serger still living in it’s cardboard home. I picked linen for my first simple project and was totally stumped as what to do next. Thank you very much . Now I can finish my project instead of waiting for replacement book. Heck, wish I had found your site before I got the serger…… thanks la jeanne

  28. Karen says:

    I love most of your recreations you r so clever

  29. sdarvell says:

    Hi, I have been sewing for over 20 years and doing refashions for just under 10 years, well actually probably longer if you count high school. Lol anyway. I have a blog about refashions. I’ve had this blog for many years. Reduce, re-use, re-design. I like your book name it’s kind of like my tagline that I’ve had for about five years. Anyhow, I love your projects! Especially the off shoulder top which at 38 I would wear it the same way with a tank under. Any adult Couple Halloween costume ideas? Thank you much! Check out my work at home blog too when you have a moment!

  30. Cynthia says:

    I’ve tried all of these except the seam binding – I’ll have to give it a try. I think it would be perfect for an unlined blazer pattern I have. Thanks, love the post.

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