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Sewing Tip: How To Sew A Flat Zigzag On An Edge

By Marian Lewis Here is a sewing tip to help all zigzag sewing machine owners learn how to sew. Did you know that you can eliminate rolled up looking edges when you use a zigzag stitch to finish your seams in your sewing? Here is how to sew a zigzag stitch over an edge and keep it laying flat. Cut a piece of button and carpet thread or heavy string about 3 inches longer than the length of the seam you want to finish with a zigzag edge. Then, set your sewing machine for the longest and widest zigzag stitch. Lay the heavy thread/string just inside the raw edge of your seam allowance leaving about 3 inches extend over the end of the fabric where you will start stitching. This gives you a "tail" to hold on to as you begin your stitching.
Now, zigzag stitch over the heavy thread/string all along the edge of the fabric just like you normally finish your seam edge. You aren't stitching through the heavy thread. You are stitching over it. The heavy thread/string will not let the fabric edge be stretched and curled up by the presser foot as it stitches along the edge. Pull out the heavy thread/string after you complete your stitching. You can use the same string over again for all your seams. You will notice after you remove the thread/string that the stitches are laying loosely over the edge and are flat. This even works on thin, lighter weight fabrics like silk, challis, crepes, etc.. Press lightly and enjoy your flat edges! Try it! It just makes sense!
©2009 Marian Lewis - All Rights Reserved 1st Step To Sewing Success

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Comment by Jan Richter on June 29, 2009 at 8:23pm
Yes! I'm so happy! It really works. Beautiful, flat zigzaged edges on my silky shirt. Jan Richter
Comment by Cat on June 26, 2009 at 6:29pm
Bernina has a foot #470(the overlock foot), looks simiklar to a regular foot cut in half. It has a finger that the zig zag stitch 'straddles' that serves the same purpose as the string. does not work for the gathering technique of course as there is not 'string' (lol)
Comment by Carla Adam on June 15, 2009 at 5:35am
It sounds great. Is there a picture showing how you lay it exactly? Carla.
Comment by Beverly on June 14, 2009 at 5:12pm
This is something I plan to try on my next project!
Comment by Karen Gass on June 14, 2009 at 10:58am
I recently zig zagged the edge of a quilt, rather than finishing it the normal way, and I found that using strips of Tear Away Stabilizer helped SO MUCH.

I love the tissue paper idea for the sheer fabrics - thank you :)
Comment by Mrs.Carol Mattice on June 14, 2009 at 8:10am
Yes, very good. Gives it slack so in order to be flat use the heavier thread does make sense. I like it when it makes sense.
Comment by Kay on June 14, 2009 at 8:08am
This method will also work with gathering skirts or other items. I used kite string, it's strong and last a long time.After gathering the item with the string,just hold the end and slide the fabric along the string towards the middle of the fabric. Sew across the gathers and then pull the string out!
Comment by Jody on June 14, 2009 at 8:06am
Thanks for the tip!!!! I make dinner napkins for gifts, this will allow me to NOT have to make the usual rolled hem.

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