However. It's a bit unstable, if you look at it the wrong way it slowly starts to unravel. Which was a pain and a half, especially when you consider I don't have a serger/overlocker and my lovely old machine has no attachment to allow zig zag stitch.
So I turned to the sewing bible (and google) and discovered all sorts of alternatives.
- Pinking shears! Apparently finishing an edge with tiny little zig zags reduces the amount a fabric can fray. However, it's not really extreme enough for really self destructive fabrics like mine. Didn't stop me trying though.
- Mock french seams. They look like french seams, but they aren't. Neither are they easy to explain with words, I would show you a picture of my attempt, but I'm a bit ashamed of it's wonkyness, so look at this. My fabric was really too bulky for these though, which then rulled out lots of other seam finishes.
So instead I tried binding. By encasing the naughty edges in another layer of fabric the fraying is limited. I bought some cotton bias binding, but I may also be buying some rayon seam binding which is thinner and so better for areas that shouldn't be bulky. I used this for seams and also for hemming.
I also did a bit of hand stitching using overcast stitch, which is just a little diagonal stitch over the edge of the fabric which catches the unraveling edge and stops it getting worse. It's almost invisible on my fabric so a photo is next to pointless.
Actually there's a whole host of potential seam finishes suitable for different fabrics. If you look on blogs lots of people seem to only mention sergers/overlockers. Apparently they are both fast and easy. They trim the fabric and neatly encase edges all in one. Well, I laugh in the face of such time saving methods, mainly because I can't afford them. If you can't afford them either don't worry, find yourself a nice big book and find a fancy seam you like the look of. It'll only cost you thread and an extra evening or two.
1. I must not kid myself that it's ok to buy cheap fabric because I'm "still learning", I'm going to be learning for a real long time and I will go mad if all my clothes fall apart after one wash when they've taken two weeks to make.
2. Seams take a realllllllllly long time. But, I'm a very happy camper with a needle in my hand, so it doesn't matter too much. (p.s. not actually IN my hand)