OTC-011 Off The Cuff ~Sewing Style~: Tutorial-- Perfect "Turn-and-Stitch" Curved Edges and Hems <body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/platform.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10604511\x26blogName\x3dOff+The+Cuff+++++++++~Sewing+Style~\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttps://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttps://off-the-cuff-style.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-7200128261330671945', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>


Tutorial-- Perfect "Turn-and-Stitch" Curved Edges and Hems

Whether sewing a top or dress for children like the one pictured above, or garments for adults, often  the "turned-and-stitched" concave curved edges, of necklines, armscyes, and shirt hems pucker and twist...no matter how careful we are.

While the pattern for the blouse pictured above had good directions for turning a nice smooth armscye,  most patterns just tell you to turn the fabric edge twice to the wrong side and top-stitch, and skip a crucial step.

Some of you who are experienced sewists no doubt are already familiar with the technique shown below. For those who are not, I'll show you how I sew no-pucker "turn-and-stitch" edges that never fail to look professional. While demonstrated with armscye edges, the same technique can be used on a turn-and-stitched neckline edge, and shirt-tail hems.

Here is an example of a top with turn-and-stitch armscyes.  The fabric I chose for this example is polyester lining, very slippery, with no stretch at all. I chose a difficult fabric to show how this simple technique will work without any "help" from fabric with natural fiber and/or any degree of stretch.

If your pattern calls for 5/8" seam allowances, trim the seam allowance of the edge to be turned to 1/4" or 3/8".
Then turn the edge 1/4" (or 3/8" if that is the seam allowance you are using) to the wrong side of the garment and press.

Now here is the simple step that is missed in many pattern instructions.  However, it is crucial to a professionally turned edge.  What needs to be done next is very easy...just make tiny clips into
the turned edge every 1/2" or so, as shown below.

Then turn the edge again 1/4" (or 3/8" if that is the seam allowance you are using) to the wrong side, encasing the raw clipped edge. Press well.  It should now look like this--

The final step is to secure the folded edge by top-stitching from the right side.  You will then press the edge. Here is my quick sample shown unpressed so you can see how making those tiny clips into the first fold results in a perfectly pucker-free folded edge :)

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Blogger Julia said...

Thanks for the reminder. I usually do clip curved edges like this. Patterns should be more specific and detailed about things like this, though.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this tip!

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for this tip!


5:01 PM  
Blogger Linda T said...

Thank you for always sharing with us. I will use this tip from now on!

6:53 PM  
Blogger willow and moo said...

Thank you Pam for sharing your knowledge! Such a great tip.

7:59 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Thanks for the tip, but could you please clarify something for me? If you trim off the seam allowance to 1/4", press it under, clip and then turn it over another 1/4" aren't you then taking a 3/4" seam allowance rather than 5/8"? Most of the time it probably wouldn't be a problem, but I thought I'd make sure I wasn't misunderstanding you.

8:37 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Nancy...that's a great question, and one I was wondering if anyone would ask :)

If the pattern is already drafted to be turned twice with a 5/8" seam allowance, trimming the seam allowance to 1/4" is just a change in the seam allowance. Of course it then can be said that the result will be a bit wider ;)

I tend to think that minor width differences are design opportunities in cases like a simple sleeveless garment or simple turned neckline.

Perhaps a good compromise is to trim to 3/8".

9:30 PM  
Blogger sistersue said...

Oh, I get it! Now I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the tip.

2:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your technique. Could this also be used in the hem of a blouse or a shirt tail hem?

Thank You

7:30 AM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Yes Marie! I use this technique in my ShirtMaking Studio to turn perfect narrow hems near the side seams where the hemline takes on a concave curve.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Nancy K said...

Assuming that you can turn a 5/8" sas on a curve isn't going to work very well even on a knit. Good tutorial.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Summerset said...

Excellent tip! We often clip curves, but forget it works equally as well on narrow hems.

1:10 PM  
Blogger AuntieAllyn said...

Brilliant tip! Who says you can't teach an old dog (me) new tricks? I've been sewing for more than 40 years, and this is something new for me.

7:55 AM  
Blogger Bobbie said...

I'm a little confused!....(typical!) Are you saying to trim that edge 1/4" or to trim the seam allowance down to 1/4"( in essence taking off 3/8"?)

Thanks! Bobbie K

12:34 PM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Bobbie...it almost works out to the same thing ;)

Sorry I wasn't more clear...apologies :)

What you want if starting with wide seam allowances of any amount, is to trim the edge so that you can make two 1/4"-3/8" turns to the wrong side.

In other words:
When making a narrow double turned hem or other finish, trim the edge so that it can be turned 1/4" (or 3/8") twice.

Usually any pattern that calls for a double-turned edge will already allow for a 1/4"-3/8" "double turn"...it only needs to be trimmed in those rare instances that they want you to turn 5/8" twice (which never works..it's just too wide ;)

Does this help? If not, let me know :)

12:49 PM  
Blogger Bobbie said...

Thank you!!! NOW I get it!.....it must be the heat!

1:07 PM  
Blogger MushyWear said...

This is a great tutorial! Thank you for sharing it. I just used the technique on a knit top today and it worked beautifully. I linked my post to your website. Thanks again!

12:24 AM  
Blogger Rose said...

Thank you for this tutorial-- I've used it on two garments already! I've gotten great results, so I know that I'll use this in the future.

Rose in SV

3:37 AM  
Blogger Home's Jewels said...

Thank you for the great tutorial. I've added your tip to the "Sewing Lessons/Tutorials" circle at the new online sewing community: MySewingCircle.com

This "circle" is a place where people post their favorite links to helpful tips.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

I don't know why pattern companies leave out these instructions. I don't remember where I first learned to do as your tutorial, but I know I've never seen it on a pattern instruction sheet.

3:00 AM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I finally got around to using some of the interfacing I bought from you.......IT IS AWESOME! Thank you for a great product.

1:51 AM  
Anonymous cc said...

your blog is just awesome. i am an absolute beginner and just after reading a few posts, i feel like i've learned a lot. very informative in a 'plain english' way that is easy to understand (alongside some gorgeous pics!). thank you so much for sharing, pamela!!

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Strix said...

Hi, new to your blog and love it; thanks for all this valuable information.

Love this post because I am struggling bigtime trying to figure out how to attach a collar and stand to a neckline. (Any advice where I can go for very explicit directions? Actually, I don't think anything but a good video would do at this point!) Vague, presumptuous instructions are so cry worthy! :^)

Was there no easing involved in sewing this edge?!

8:53 AM  
Blogger Pam Erny said...

Hi Strix,

Welcome to my blog :)

No, there was no easing involved.

To see my ShirtMaking Tutorials, including those on how to attach the collar/stand to the neckline...just click on the "Pam's ShirtMaking Tutorials" Link on the sidebar of my blog's main page. ...Then scroll all the way down to get to the collar/stand attachment series.

10:35 AM  
Blogger petunia said...

A million thanks for this!

1:12 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

This tip has saved me on my last 2 shirts. I linked this post in my post today since I used this technique twice in recent weeks.

I greatly appreciate that you make time to share you experiences. I have referred to your blog often!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found your site through pinterest. I haven't sewn in ages. I'm looking forward to trying some of your ideas. Thanks.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Ute said...

Thank you! Your tip just helped me make a beautiful neckline! no puckers at ALL! The pattern came without those instructions but I remembered yours and it worked!

8:20 AM  

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