8 Tips for Sewing the Smoothest Curved Seams
You must be curvalicious if you want to tackle scooped necklines, round pillows, and clutches.
1. Draw Before You Sew
It’s tough keeping an even seam allowance as you guide the machine needle around the fabric’s curve. To help, measure the seam allowance with a ruler and then mark it on the fabric with chalk. That will help you focus on the fabric in front of the machine needle instead of the seam guide.
2. Look Ahead
When sewing a large or long curve, gently push the fabric sideways with your fingertips to guide it around the curve; if you think of a curve as a collection of small straight stitches, you’ll focus on a couple stitches at a time.
3. Shorten the Stitch Length
Smaller stitches make sewing around tight curves easier, and they also make a curve look less angular. In the stitching above, the left curve was sewn with a 3mm stitch length, while the right curve was sewn with a 2mm stitch length. See the difference?
4. Walk, Sink and Pivot
When sewing curved seams, use the hand wheel to help your machine “walk” the needle through each stitch, giving you more control and keeping stitches even. If fabric bunches around the presser foot, lift the foot to relax the fabric.
5. Scale Down Seam Allowances
You usually have to sew a convex curve (one that sticks out) to a concave curve (one that goes in) when attaching lining to a facing; it’s fine to trim the seam allowances on the fabric pieces before sewing them together.
6. Match the Centers
If your pattern doesn’t have notches to help you line up the pieces, find the center of each curved piece and mark it with chalk or a small notch. When you pin the pieces together, make sure the centers and the two ends of the seam match.
7. Cut Notches or Slits
Cut small slits in the seam allowance to allow the fabric to stretch and flatten out once the project is turned right side out, but be careful not to snip into your stitches! There will be less fabric shoved against the seam’s edge when you’re finished.
What do you do with a curved seam to make it smooth and flat?
When sewing a curved seam, it’s critical to reduce the bulk of the seam allowance before turning the unit right side out, and clipping the seams is the key to making the curve’s finished outer edges smooth and flat.
How do you finish a curved seam?
Sew a baste stitch 1/8u201d from the fabric edge, leaving a few inches of thread at one end, then sew a second row of stitching at the hem’s intended seam allowance. Pull on one of the thread tails from the stitch closest to the edge, drawing the fabric just enough so that the folded edge lays flat onto the fabric.
What is a curved seam?
Curved seams, like Princess seams, have a curved fold or line that gives the garment a tailored fit or shape. When making a curved seam, the fabric must be evenly slashed and pulled along the seam to allow it to follow the desired curve.
How do you sew smoothly?
Here’s everything you need to know about it.
- Look Ahead.
- Shorten the Stitch Length.
- Walk, Sink, and Pivot.
- Scale Down Seam Allowances.
- Match the Centers.
- Cut Notches or Slits.
- Smooth Out Curves.
Why are curved seams often clipped?
When excess fabric is clipped around a curve, it reduces bulk and creates a smooth outer edge while maintaining the curved shape. The curve around a neckline in garment sewing is an inward curve, and if you compare the length of the seam to the length of the curve, you’ll notice the seam is longer.
Which way do you press seams?
Open up the darker fabric piece and press along the seam line, or press from the wrong side and gently press the seams open along the seam line if you prefer.
How do you press seams without an iron?
Without using an iron, learn how to press seams open.
- Open your unit and lay it right sides down on a firm surface. I use my computer desk, which has a glass top.
- GET YOURSELF A FINGER PRESSER.
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- Turn it over and admire your work from the right side.
What’s the difference between pressing and ironing?
Ironing and pressing are often confused, but they are two different techniques. Ironing is the back and forth sliding motion that most of us are familiar with and use on a daily basis at home, whereas pressing is the placement of the iron on the fabric, holding it there, and then removing it.