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Sewing Tips – Clipping Corners and Curves

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Sometimes the simplest little technique can really polish off your project.
By taking an extra moment or two to finish something off right, you will start to see huge improvements in your projects.
And I’ve had a few questions on clipping corners and curves……..and why it’s necessary.
So here’s why…
It really removes bulk from the insides of seams and allows for nice and smooth curves and corners. 
 And it keeps things sharp and even.
 (And this may help those of you who wonder why you can’t get things to turn right side out without it puckering all funny.  Is that you?)
So first, clipping corners.
Once you have sewn 2 pieces of fabric together that have corners, you are left with this:
And if you turn it right side out without clipping those corners, you will have messy looking corners that you can’t poke out because there is too much fabric in there jamming it up.
And those corners are also very bulky and won’t lay flat for you.
But if you trim off those corners at a diagonal, cutting near the tip of the seam, but not too close……….
and then poke out the corners with something pointy……….
………you will have nice and sharp looking corners.
That lay perfectly flat.  Make more sense now?
Now how about those curves.  
Remember these instructions……..”  clip valleys, notch mountains”.  
Got it?
When you have a curve that looks like a mountain, like this:
Then you want to notch the mountain, like this:
It’s kind of like the corner method from above.  You are trying to take away some of the bulk so that it will lay flat.  So that when you turn it right side out, it will look nice and smooth, like this:
See what I mean?
And from the inside, you can see that those notches are closed up and are almost laying next to each other now because the curve forced them that way………perfect.
Now onto the valleys……which would look something like this:
And if you tried to turn a “valley curve” right side out, it would not lay flat for you at all.  It would just bunch and pucker and will fight you…….grrrrrrr.
So clip the valley like this:
So that when the curve stretches open a bit, the clips allow it to move.
And I even needed to add little notches at the top where there are slight little mountains.  See?
So then after turning it right side out, the valley lays nice and flat, like this:
If you open it up and peek inside, you can see that the little “clips” are being opened up, allowing for the nice curve of the fabric from the outside.  Make more sense now?
Now, go on and try some of these techniques (if you aren’t already) on your next project.
You will notice a huge difference in how your fabric lays and how much better the end product looks.
Yay for crisp edges.

Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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