How to Overcast With a Sewing Machine

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Overcast your seam allowance with an ordinary sewing machine. An overcast machine, called a serger, sews seams with trimmed and finished seam allowances in one step. Overcasting the seam allowances make seams stronger, and seam allowances lie flatter when they are finished. It will also give your seam allowances a neater appearance by covering the loose threads. You can make strong, neat overcast seam allowances with an ordinary sewing machine.

  • Sew your seams with the recommended seam allowances.

  • Trim the seam allowances to one-fourth inch.

  • Set your machine to an overlock or overcast stitch. Use a zigzag stitch if your machine is not equipped with these stitches. Set the stitch width as wide as possible and use a stitch length of 2.

  • Sew along the raw edge of the seam allowance. The needle should go slightly off the right edge of the fabric when sewing the right side of the stitch. The stitches should cover and encase the raw edges of the fabric.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a blind seam foot to overcast the seam allowance if you have one. It will help you maintain an even distance from the edge of the fabric.

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