When I was first learning how to sew I was more than just a little confused about finishing my raw edges. I was sewing exclusively with my sewing machine and when a pattern called for overlocking the edges I was at a loss. “But I don’t have an overlocker!” I proclaimed. And sewing with my zig zag stitch just didn’t give me the finish I was looking for.
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Enter the overcast stitch.
There are many different stitches you can use on your sewing machine to finish your raw edges, but the overcast stitch remains my favorite. It is essentially a zig-zag stitch with more structure. See stitch number 15 in the picture below:
The tips of the “pyramids” go all the way out to the edge of the fabric to enclose everything beautifully and the inner straight stitch gives your seams more strength.
How to Sew an Overcast Stitch
To sew an overcast stitch you’ll need to start by grabbing yourself an overcasting foot.
The overcast foot has two things that make it special. When you look at the picture below you’ll notice straight away that it has a straight-edged guide on the right side of the presser foot. This is where your fabric will run up against.
It also has a bar going right down the bottom-middle of the foot. This keeps your fabric stable as it sews the stitch overtop, keeping the edges from curling or tunneling as you go.
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Simply replace your universal presser foot for your overcasting foot, place the fabric underneath and up against the guide and let her rip!
There are few things more enjoyable than beautiful inside seams. And now you can have them too <3
Editor’s Note: Want to try out the overcast stitch? Put it to use on our Claiborne Ruffle Top!
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