How to Sew Edges of Fabric? – (3 Easy Ways)

Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Finishing a garment does not indicate your work is finished; it requires tidying up all the raw edges so they don’t fray. It is important for any sewing lover to understand the basics of cloth and the methods for finishing its edges. So, how to sew edges of fabric?

How to Sew Edges of Fabric

Highlights on Finishing Edges Sewing:

  • Understand sewing edges on fabric and cutting techniques for a better fit.
  • Use your sewing machine to make neat edges and secure thread casings.
  • When sewing in bulk, use a serger for professional, long-lasting results.
  • To master the finishing raw edges, experiment with and practice these methods.

How to Sew Edges of Fabric

How to Sew Edges of Fabric

Here, we’ll have a look at 3 awesome techniques for creating tidy, professional-looking finishes: pinking shears, zigzag stitches, and with a serger or overlocker.

1. Finishing with Pinking Shears

Pinking shears are specialized scissors with a serrated blade that cuts fabric with a zigzag edge. This technique is excellent for reducing fraying, particularly on lightweight clothing.

Pinking Shears
Pinking Shears

Here’s how to finish raw edges using pinking shears:

  • Step 1: Lay your fabric on a flat surface, ensuring it’s smooth and even.
  • Step 2: Identify the raw edge that you want to finish.
  • Step 3: Hold the pinking shears at a slight angle to the fabric edge and cut along the raw edge using the zigzag blade.
  • Step 4: Continue cutting along the entire edge, ensuring the zigzag pattern is consistent.
  • Step 5: After cutting, gently press the pinking sheared edge to set the zigzag shape, preventing further fraying.

2. Finishing with Zigzag Stitches (Using a Sewing Machine)

An easy method to fix raw edges is to sew with a zigzag stitch setting on a sewing machine. This technique effectively prevents fraying and works well with various fabric types.

Zigzag Stitches
Zigzag Stitches

Here’s how to use zigzag stitches to cover raw edges:

  • Step 1: Set your sewing machine to the zigzag stitch option.
  • Step 2: Place the fabric under the presser foot, ensuring the raw edge is aligned with the middle of the foot.
  • Step 3: Begin sewing, allowing the zigzag stitch to extend slightly off the fabric edge on both sides.
  • Step 4: Continue sewing along the entire raw edge, guiding the fabric evenly.
  • Step 5: Experiment with different stitch lengths and sizes based on the fabric thickness for optimal results.

3. Finishing with a Serger (Overlock Machine)

A serger, or overlock machine, gives raw edges a refined and long-lasting finish. Though it necessitates a unique machine, it’s the quickest and most effective technique, especially for individuals who frequently sew.


Here’s how to finish raw edges using a serger:

  • Step 1: Thread your serger with the desired thread color, matching it to your fabric.
  • Step 2: Place the fabric under the serger foot, aligning the raw edge with the cutting blade.
  • Step 3: Start the serger and guide the fabric smoothly through the machine. The serger will trim the raw edge and simultaneously encase it with threads.
  • Step 4: Check the tension settings to ensure the threads properly secure the raw edge.
  • Step 5: Continue serging along the entire raw edge, keeping a steady pace for an even finish.


Anyone who loves to sew has to learn the art of fixing raw edges. When you choose to use pinking shears, zigzag stitches, or a serger, each technique has its benefits and is suitable for specific situations.

Try out these methods while considering the fabric kind and project’s requirements. You can obtain professional-looking finishes with experience, guaranteeing that your clothing looks excellent and endures wear and tear.  

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