How to finish seams without an overlocker

You guys really want to know how to finish seams without an overlocker. You might know these sorts of seams as French seams or enclosed seams.  For me, fun and rewarding is the same as fun and fast.  So it goes, I believe wholeheartedly in the wonderful creation that is the overlocker. I’ll overlock anything and everything.  However, I know that some people either don’t have an overlocker or they just really don’t like the look of overlocked seams.

This tutorial is specifically for the inseam pocket shorts from the Basics Collection, but if you’ve bought any Hey There Threads patterns, you can use the same principles in this tutorial to help you sew them with enclosed or French seams.


With wrong sides together and lining up notches, sew the pocket side seam using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

wrong sides together

Trim the seam back to 3mm (1/8″) and press the seam towards the back.

trim 3mm from seam

trim 3mm from pocket seam only


With right sides together, sew the pocket same side seam again, using a 6mm (1/4″) seam allowance.

stitch pocket seam


Clip to the side seam in line with the stitches, BUT NOT PAST IT.  This will help release the fabric so the pocket will sit flat and prevent any puckering.  If you clip paste it you’ll end up with a snip in the finished side seam.

clip to release fabric clip into seam to release fabric


Press the seam towards the front.  Usually we press towards the back, but if you’re sewing the inseam (hidden pocket), it helps keep the pocket around the front for little hands to get at it.


turn and press side panel


Repeat for the other side seam and the inner leg seam.

Repeat these same steps for sewing the front and back seams and the leg seams.

  • wrong sides together
  • sew with a 6mm (1/4″) seam
  • trim to 3mm (1/8″)
  • press seam to the side if you are sewing the front or back seam and to the back if you are sewing the inner leg seam
  • with right sides together, sew a 6mm (1/4″) seam and press to the side if sewing a front or back seam and to the back if sewing an inner leg seam

These same steps and process can be used for sewing The Basics Collection, the Explorer Skirt and the Explorer Shorts.  If you have a copy of the Ladies Explorer Skirt, you’ll know that French seams is one of the options used in the instructions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *