Sewing Linen to Stay Put Without a Serger

We members of the Japanese Hippie Doomsday Cult need to be resourceful as we work on garments from  Happy Homemade Sew Chic. We have to improvise! We have to experiment! We have to make do!

Most of the patterns in the book call for “neatening” the raw edges, which is a nice way to say “serge them.” If you don’t have a serger, what then?

I am experimenting with my machine’s “overedge” foot. IMG_20150412_173028262It has a pair of thin wires along one side and a black guide to line up the edge of the fabric.

You can use this presser foot with a variety of stitches. Thre’s an overedge stitch that sews a straight stitch and a zig-zag. There’s also a stitch that sews a straight stitch and a chevron-shaped double row of zig-zags. I am using this stitch for my  Double-cuff Bermuda Shorts, since linen frays like there’s no tomorrow. (OK, we’re in a doomsday cult, so there really might be no tomorrow, but this is just a figure of speech, m’kay?)

My machine also has an “overcasting” foot that does a long straight stitch, a zig-zag and a tiny straight stitch at the very edge of the fabric. It’s worth playing around with these stitches if you don’t have a serger. Or, as I did for the Dress with Front Tuck, try some old-fashioned seam finishes such as French seams, for lightweight fabric, or flat-fell seams for heavier fabrics, like denim.

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2 thoughts on “Sewing Linen to Stay Put Without a Serger

  1. Good point! I would just pink the seams if I had a 5/8 inch (2 cm) seam allowance to play with. Unfortunately, the book calls for a 1 cm inch seam allowance (3/8 inch.) I have to add the seam allowances myself, so in the future I will do the 5/8 inch if I have a particularly ravelly fabric.

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