The importance of finishing your seams is something all people who sew are familiar with, and sergers perform that task effortlessly. Sergers can be expensive and there are quite a few other ways to finish a seam without one. I recently found this seam finishing video tutorial by Evelyn Wood on YouTube that can really help budding dressmakers navigate their seam finishes in a few different ways. Good seam finishes can make all your projects look very professional, and are invaluable to all of your sewing projects. A seam finish is a way you treat those raw fuzzy edges of your fabric, just beyond the seam line so the fabric doesn’t fray. The best seam finish for a beginner to use is a basic zig-zag which looks very much like a serged stitch. You can also use a French seam method, there is a strait turn end stitch, a pinking shear finish, a felled seam, and the Hong Kong binding. This video by Evelyn describes all these stitches and also explains why you may want to use them for certain garments.
Here is an example of a felled seam that you might see on many vintage couture garments. A felled seam is when you cut down one side of your seam allowance and fold the longer side down then sew it by hand or machine stitch it securely down.
One of the other seam finishes in this wonderful video tutorial is the Hong Kong binding. This stitch uses a piece of bias tape over the raw fabric edge and is very secure. You find this type of seam finish in wool jackets and garments that have a really loose weave.
This is a very useful video, and Evelyn Wood is a fabulous teacher.