Today is the last day of our “What I Wish I’d Known When I Started Sewing Series”. We know there are so many sewing tips, tricks, and techniques that we didn’t cover…but hopefully this gave you a good spring board to use to jump into the new year and start sewing. And we promise we will continue to sprinkle these kinds of posts into our regular posts through out the up coming year.
Now, before we jump into today’s topic we just wanted to give you a little heads up….tomorrow we have a giveaway for you…a good one…with goodies from a group of sewing bloggers you all know and love…and something special from us…so check back in tomorrow. (You don’t want to miss this one!)
Alright, NOW let’s get down to business.
How you handle the construction of your curves and corners can make or break the overall appearance of your garments (especially on focal points like collars). However when I began sewing I didn’t know what to do when it came to curves and corners…and recently I ran across a collar fail that proves it.
Look at this poor thing:
It’s lumpy and wrinkly and those curves are anything BUT smooth…and I had no idea WHY it turned out the way it did. All I knew was, dang, that’s bad. And so I hid it away and vowed to never sew collars again.
Apparently though I forgot that vow and over the past few years have learned a few things to help myself avoid similar collars of doom. So the other day I remade the same collar and this time it turned out a lot better. And I realized that over the last few years I really have learned some useful sewing tricks when it comes to curves and corners. So here are a few of my favorite tips that have helped me:
*If you want smooth curves use a shorter stitch length (I usually use a 2.0).
*Trim and clip the seam allowances on curves. (And to make this process super easy….use a pair of pinking shears…and when you do it will look the photo below.) The trimming and clipping helps to rid the seam of excess fabric that would add bulk, lumps, and bumps to your finished product.
*Use a turning tool (or a chopstick, if you are me) to help turn your curves right sides out. Use the tool to help shape and smooth your curves.
*Iron your curves down flat…you may have to continue to shape and reshape with your tool as you iron.
Those few tricks…clipping, turning with a tool, and ironing can make all the difference in the world on how professional your sewn curves will look.
As for corners…
*I use a smaller stitch length (2.0).
*Reinforce the corners by either back stitching OR stitching over the corners twice.
*Clip off the end of your corner seam and then trim the edges down toward that corner. (As shown in the photo below)
*Use a turning tool (or a chopstick) to turn your corners right side out. Be careful not to push your tool too hard and puncture the fabric. (Note: After turning I will often use a pin to pull the fabric on the corners out to a point.)
*Once you’ve pulled everything tight. Iron your corners down well.
So again…shorter stitch length, trim off bulk, flip with a tool, and iron flat.
Easy…and it will make all the difference in the world! (I only wish I’d known these tricks years before!)
Thanks for following along with our little series and before we check out with you today we have one more fab lady with her sewing advice.
It’s Jessica from Craftiness Is Not Optional. She says:
“When I first started sewing (ie when I didn’t really like it…..GASP), I learned that I was to pin my patterns to the fabric, then cut out the pieces with scissors. I honestly think that’s part of what made me
throw it down and run away screaming give up sewing the first time. It was much too fussy for me, and my cuts were never crisp, or correct for that matter.
Fast forward to when I picked up sewing again, about 6 years ago. I quickly found these amazing things called fabric weights that you used to keep your fabric in place while you cut it with a rotary cutter-not scissors! LIFE-CHANGING. (ok, that’s a bit dramatic. SEWING-LIFE-CHANGING) It’s the way I cut out most of my fabric these days. They are one of my most-used tools. ”
And don’t forget to join us back here tomorrow to enter the sewing goods giveaway!!!
I wish I would have paid more attention when my Mom taught me sewing!
I have loved this series!! I always read the posts even if I think I already know how to do whatever the topic is and I have learned a new little tip in almost every one! I love learning new and better sewing tips. Thanks for sharing your wisdom 🙂
Great tip – ones I will be sure to share with my next sewing class! Thanks so much!
This is really helpful. I recently did a set of bibs for a friend’s baby, and since they’re pretty utilitarian, I didn’t fret too much over the messy-looking curves. I did learn that I’m still crap at top-stitching on a curve, though. Next time I’m taking the pinking blade on my rotary cutter to them before I flip them right-side-out.
Collar of doom, ha! I’ve sewn some of those, too. I’ve linked to your post over at Craft Gossip:
I wish I’d known better to make too big than too small. Wish I remembered it still! Then number of items I’ve made that are a TIGHT fit is just daft… been through the whole series and it’s great. Now subscribed 🙂
Karen B says
When you say shorten your stitch length do you shorten it for the entire project or just when you get close to the corners?
When I sew corners using different techniques, one corner comes out near perfect, but the other corner does not. I cannot figure this out. Do you know why this might be happening?