Technique: Sewing a Curved Seam

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This guide shows you how to sew a curved seam.

Learn how to sew a curved seam to give your garments shape and life, not just straight lines. In this guide we’re using contrasting thread for visibility, but when it comes time to do your actual project, you’ll want to use thread that matches the color of your fabric.

Edit Step 1 Sewing a Curved Seam  ¶ 

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Edit Step 1 Sewing a Curved Seam  ¶ 

  • Lay the two pieces of fabric with the right sides together.

  • Align the edges you would like to sew. Push out all the wrinkles and smooth the fabric flat.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Starting at one end of the seam, match the corners and pin them together.

  • Work your way down the edge to be sewn, pinning the two pieces of fabric together.

    • The closer the pins are, the more stable their hold will be. However, you will have to stop to remove each pin as you sew. For a beginner's skill level, space the pins an inch or two apart.

  • Continue until you've pinned the two pieces of fabric from corner to corner.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Align the edge of the fabric with the edge of the presser foot, then depress the presser foot.

  • Engage the sewing machine's backstitch function.

    • Backstitch functions vary widely between machines and can come in the form of buttons, levers, and knobs. See your sewing machine manual for instructions on your backstitch function.

  • Depress the pedal slowly. Sew two or three stitches backwards. Release the pedal and disengage the backstitch function.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Depress the pedal and sew slowly forward, guiding the fabric with your hands as you go.

    • When guiding the fabric through a sewing machine you should not be pushing or pulling. The machine will feed the fabric in at the right speed. Your job is merely to guide the fabric so the seam remains straight.

  • Keep the fabric aligned to the edge of the presser foot as you sew.

  • Stop before you reach each pin. Pull the pins out, being careful not to misalign the fabric.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Continue to sew along the curved edge.

  • Pull out the last pin and sew up to the fabric's end.

  • When you come to the end of your seam, engage the backstitch function. Sew two or three stitches backwards. Release the backstitch function and sew forward off the fabric.

  • Turn the balance wheel until the needle is up.

  • Lift the presser foot up and clip the threads holding the fabric to the machine as close to the fabric as possible.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Lay out the newly sewn fabric on your work surface.

  • With a pair of fabric scissors, make a series of cuts about 1 cm apart into the raw edge of the seam until the fabric begins to curve. This will ensure that the seam lays flat.

  • Do not cut the seam itself, or you will have to resew the section.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Once the edge of the fabric begins to curve, begin cutting small triangles about every inch along the edge with the point facing towards the seam.

    • The more triangles you cut, the smoother your seam will lay.

  • Continue cutting small triangles along the length of the fabric.

  • As with the beginning, you may simply cut slits into the straight sections, while curved edges require triangles.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Once you have cut triangles all along the seam, turn the fabric inside out so that the seam is now on the inside.

  • As you turn the fabric inside out, adjust the fabric at the raw edge of the seam to get the smoothest seam possible.

  • Once your fabric is inside-out and your seam is flat, stand back and admire your beautiful handiwork.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Basic Sewing device page.

Required Tools

Utility Scissors

$6.95 · 7 In stock

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