Sewing curves and circles can be a total disaster if not approached with the proper care, knowledge and helpful tools.
At a recent Sewtopia Sewing Club lecture, we featured the joy and ease of sewing curves and insetting circles.
So where did my love of curves and circles begin?
I recently realized that I have been addicted to circles and curves all my life. I did not always know I had this draw into the world of spheres, globes and curves. But looking through my Pinterest boards and things I have collected over the years, it has become crystal clear that I have been in love with these shapes for a long time.
The journey of mastering the art of sewing curves did not always come easy in my teenage years. I remember fighting setting in sleeves on a shirt. One sleeve would sew in super easy and the second one I ripped out at least three times before it was right.
Many of us started our sewing journey in the world of garment sewing so we learned early on about the joys (or not the joy) of bias edges. Fast forward to the wonderful world of quilting and circles and curves start to add an amazing new dimension to any flat surface.
Whether you are wanting to sew decorative stitches in circles with the Circular Sewing Attachment, cut circles in fabric with the Cut Around tool (see video below) or slice and dice your next fabric blocks like the Twist Tie Box quilt above, there are endless possibilities.
5 Key Skills Needed For Sewing Curves
- Perfecting your 1/4″ seam is one key skill to sewing circles and curves. Without exact seam allowances, the finished result will not lay flat.
- You need a stiletto or something with a sharp point – I often reach for my seam ripper to be the extension of my fingers when forcing two opposite facing curves to meet along the edge of my 1/4″ foot.
- Pin less! Yes, pinning too much can actually make sewing curves difficult. When sewing a full circle use only eight pins. When sewing a quarter circle, use only 3 pins. The curve will ease itself if you let it. If you try to help it too much, it might not work.
- Always sew with the convex (or full circle) on the bottom and the concave shape on the top.
- Your feed dogs are your friend. The art of sewing curves is to let the sewing machine do most of the work for you. Feed dogs are the forgotten key to what helps ease in the fabric when a curve is being sewn.
- BONUS TIP #1: Watch someone else sew a curve or circle first! By watching someone else, you can see how they hold the fabric, pin the fabric, cut the fabric, use their stiletto, and finally sew the curve. Didn’t get it the first time? Rewatch again and again. Below are two highly recommended Craftsy classes on sewing curves and circles.
- BONUS TIP #2: The Craftsy class “Playing with Curves” includes 5 full size, full color quilt patterns with the purchase of the class including the pattern for the Twist Tie Quilt shown above.
Reach new quilting heights! Work alongside Cheryl Arkison as she shows you how to incorporate curved elements into your quilts with confidence.
Round out your quilting repertoire! Let Ann Petersen take the fear out of sewing curved seams and open up a new world of piecing. Includes 5 quilt patterns!
Want to master sewing curves and circles while learning more about your sewing machine’s sewing accessories and decorative stitches? Join me for next Stitching Cosmos class or sign up to be notified by e-mail over at SewingMastery.com when the Stitching Cosmos class is available as an online course! Coming early 2018!