How to Sew a Curved Seam

Written by joanne thomas
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Curved seams are a little more difficult to sew than straight seams, but using the basic technique outlined here you can avoid puckering and sew a neat, even curved seam every time. The instructions are for machine sewing, but the same principles also apply to hand-sewing curved seams.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Tailor's chalk

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  1. 1

    First mark the seam line with chalk along the curved edge of each fabric layer, 1/2 to 1 inch from the fabric's edge.

  2. 2

    Take the top layer of fabric separately, and sew a line of straight stitches inside the seam allowance close to but to the outside of the chalk line.

  3. 3

    Using scissors, snip into the fabric from the outer edge up to the row of stitches at approximately 1 inch intervals along the curve.

  4. 4

    Place this upper layer of fabric on top of the lower layer so that the right sides are facing and pin along the seam, positioning the curved seam lines to match up perfectly.

  5. 5

    Adjust the stitch length on your sewing machine to a shorter than usual straight stitch, then sew along the chalk seam line with the snipped layer of fabric on top.

  6. 6

    Snip small triangles of fabric out of the seam allowance along both layers, taking care to stop within the seam line. Press the seam on both sides, then press it open carefully to maintain the curve.

Tips and warnings

  • If the seam line has both curved and straight sections, only snip the fabric along the curved section.

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