The Turned Under Seam Finish

turned under seam

Continuing on in the series about how to sew seams, for those of us without a serger.

Today, a simple one suitable for lots of applications and one I remember being taught in school a long, long time ago.  Even if you have the simplest of sewing machines that only does a straight stitch, you can still get a neat result with this seam.  I've seen this called either the Turned Under Seam Finish or a Clean Finish seam.

If you have a stable fabric that holds a crease well, this easy finish creates a nice neat look on the inside with minimal fuss and fancy stitching.  Raw edges are protected and hidden.

turned under seam

 1.  Sew your seam as usual.

2.  Press seam open.

One of the simplest ways to create a neat finish on the inside of your projects and ideal for beginners

3.  Turn under raw edges 1/4 of an inch and press again neatly.

4.  Try to make each side equal width for the neatest finish.

One of the simplest ways to create a neat finish on the inside of your projects and ideal for beginners

5.  Stitch a line of regular stitches through the seam allowance only, on both sides.

6.  Press again so the seam lies nice and flat.

Done!  Makes your seams look nice and neat on the inside if you aren't using a lining.

Next in the series – Overcasting as a seam finish. Looking for previous seam finishes?

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17 Responses to The Turned Under Seam Finish

  1. SnowKnitty says:

    I’m another one of those who hasn’t sewn in 30+ years and am getting back into it. I wondered if you could iron and stitch the 1/4″ before seaming the pieces? What are the pros and cons?

  2. Linéa Marketos says:

    I will need to expand this to size 18, but I believe it will be worth it. Thank you.
    I’ll leave a contribution next time since I love the pattern and your instructions are so clear and easy to follow.

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  7. barbaracvm1 says:

    easy to follow instructions

  8. Jo McGonigle says:

    How does one keep denim and twill edges from curling over after hemming??

    • Carrie says:

      I like to iron on some Wonder under. Sticking the hem to the fabric adds body that doesn’t like to curl. Hope this helps.

  9. Chris J says:

    Or if you don’t want to change your serger thread.

  10. Rosie Thorpe says:

    I now remember doing this at school too (although I had forgotten about it!) I have just started sewing in earnest; previously I had just made a couple of things for my daughter when she was small, but before that was year 8 at school! (I’m now at the ‘tender’ age of 55). As a result I spend a lot of my time trying to interpret the language on patterns and trawling through the internet looking for instructions that can clear up instructions. This is a long-winded way of saying ‘thank-you’ for the website; I’ve bookmarked it and will be using it regularly over the coming months and years!

  11. France says:

    I just discovered your seam series through Inspired Us Thursday and I’m so glad I did. I read the four parts to discover that I didn’t know the Flat Felled Seam. I’m happy to have learned this one. Thank you for those posts!

  12. jocieopc says:

    thanks so much for linking up at Creativity Unleashed last week! featuring you tomorrow on the blog as our weekly as space winner!

  13. Kathi Riemer says:

    This would be nice to give your item a really nice finish. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Cheri says:

    I have been sewing for 50 years and I remember back in high school junior year..I babysat for a lady. She showed me this technique and called it “french seams”. I remember thinking…good grief, what a waste of time and thread. Just zigzag the raw edges and be done with it!”. I never did it…until now! I stopped making clothes but make tote bags and other things and this finished seam technique is who I finished the seams…works perfectly and makes things look great!

    • Deby Coles says:

      I entirely agree. When I was first learning to sew, all I wanted to do was get it all finished super quick and wear it or use it. Now I get as much pleasure out of the process of making it, and making sure even the hidden parts are beautiful too.

  15. Lorna says:

    That is a brilliant tip – thank you so much.

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