Saturday, February 7, 2015

Types of Seam Finishes: Pinking Shears

There are several types of seam finishes, and each is appropriate for different types of fabric and sewn item. Today's post is about one of the classic seam finishes, using pinking shears.

What Are Pinking Shears?
Sewing Basket with Pinking Shears

Pinking shears look like ordinary sewing scissors when closed, except thicker. When the blades are opened, you can see teeth lining the cutting edges of the blades.

These teeth cut a zigzag line when the blades close on fabric or paper. (But, don't ever use them on paper because it dulls them and it can be hard to impossible to find someone to sharpen them.)

How to Sew a Seam and Finish it With Pinking Shears

This is a very easy way to finish a seam and prevent fraying.

  1. Sew a straight seam just as you would any other straight seam. 
  2. Open out the seam and press it with a warm to hot iron (according to the fabric type you are sewing.) 
  3. Raise each side of the seam's raw edges up just high enough to cut off about 1/8-inch with the pinking shears. 
  4. If needed, press the seam open again.
  5. That's it - pinking shears - a super easy and effective way to finish a seam so it won't fray.

Types of Seam Finishes

Some other types of seam finishes I plan to cover in upcoming posts include finishes done with a serging machine, a heavy duty sewing machine with straight or zigzag stitch, and even finishes you can do on an embroidery machine.

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