Let’s talk about how to clip curves in your sewing project.
Clipping curves can take your sewing to the next level of professionalism. I’ve found that, especially when sewing small pieces like you find on toys, a few simple snips can help your item take the correct shape. But what does it even mean to clip a curve? Let’s find out.
The basic problem that is being addressed is the fact that, once turning right side out, the seam allowance of an object is bigger than the space it has to fill. It has to be cut down to avoid bunching, poking and pulling. You can cut it down to size with several techniques. Today I’m going to show you four. These are especially nice for sewing small things like toys, but they can be applied to just about any sewing project.
The first technique is fast and simple. You can go through and cut little slits all along the seam allowance. You’ll want to focus your attention to anywhere with a tight curve, adding extra slits in those areas. Also, you’ll want to cut close to the seam, but obviously you don’t want to cut your seam.
If you want to go a little extra, you can cut out little triangles all along the seam allowance. This will remove the extra fabric in the seam allowance, and so can be especially helpful with very small pieces or very tight turns.
My personal favorite method is to simply trim the seam allowance with pinking shears. This is a quick way to remove bulk, and it helps your seam allowance to avoid fraying.
Trim to 1/8″ Seam Allowance
Last of all, you can simply cut your seam allowance down to 1/8″. This removes all the bulk and works great for very tiny pieces (think of a skinny arm of a tiny doll). You do have to very careful with this technique because the fabric and fray close to the seam.
Learning how to clip your curves can really increase the quality of your sewing projects and add a bit of professionalism to the final result. If you’d like to check these techniques out in action, you can view them in the video below.