Jan 10
2010

Sewing a curved edge

oven mitt tutorial 042 Ever have two pattern pieces that are supposed to be sewn together but are actually curved in opposite directions? You wonder how they are possibly supposed to fit together. Sometimes you’ll see this in shaped seams, like a princess seam on a woman’s top that must make room for the bust. Sometimes, in the case of this tutorial, it’s a flat seam (meaning, not convex) that is rounded for visual effect. It’s really not hard to do, and I’ll show you how.

Supplies

Rooster fabric (RORYEK)

Rooster yellow/black (RORYEK)

Chicken wire yellow/black (CHEYEK)

Chicken wire yellow/black (CHEYEK)

Lots and lots of pins

Lots and lots and lots of sewing pins

These are the fabrics used in this tutorial. A separate tutorial on how to make this pot holder from start to finish can be found here.

Sew a curved seam

Pattern pieces

Pattern pieces

Here are the two pattern pieces. Laid out like this, they seem to fit together nicely. But what about when you have the right-sides together for sewing?

Hmmmm

Hmmmm

See what I mean? Now they don’t line up at all.

Start at the notch

Start at the notch

Any seam like this should have some sort of notch on the pattern. This is where notches come in really handy. (Some people cut outward-facing triangles for notches, but I cut a tiny snip within the seam allowance to mark notches. It’s more accurate and easy.) You can click the photos for bigger views. Line up the notches and start pinning from there.

Go one way

Go one way

Forget about one side for now and start pinning in one direction. Move a tiny bit at a time, and use lots and lots of pins. I know that sometimes pinning really slows down sewing, but in this case, it really helps. Don’t be afraid to use tons of pins.

One side done

One side done

When you get close to one end, line up the ends and pin. Then fill in between the edge and the other pins.

Go the other way

Go the other way

Now do the same thing in the other direction. Your pattern pieces will not lie flat.

Sew slowly

Sew slowly

Now sew your seam, moving very slowly. Remove pins as you come to them, but not until you get right up on them or the fabric will shift. This part is easier if you have the least-flat piece of fabric on top so you can adjust it as you go, avoiding any puckers or folds.

Clip the seam

Clip the seam

Clip into the seam allowance along the entire curve, every 1/4 inch or so. Get close to the stitches, but don’t cut through them, of course!

press

press

Press your seam flat. I chose to press to one direction in this case. Sorry it’s so hard to see, but click for a bigger picture.

A nice, curved seam

A nice, curved seam

And there you go! That wasn’t so had. To learn how to make this potholder, see this tutorial.




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