Making Friends with Curved Seams Part 2

In the first post on curved seams, I didn’t get real specific about the details. Call that one an overview of the process!

Sewing a concave shape to a convex shape can be daunting, to say the least. It can help a great deal to see it done in person. The next best thing is

The video I chose is directed towards fashion sewers, but the method remains the same. She did some stay stitching along both curves, just as I suggested. But she added another step – clipping – that I didn’t talk about.

Clipping! If you’ve sewn any clothes, you know about clipping your seams. It releases the tension caused by sewing two opposite shapes together into one seam, and helps the fabrics to lie flat after sewing and pressing.

Thank you to FashionSewingBlogTV!

Here is another video that may be helpful to you if you are wanting to learn how to curved seams. She also has a pretty nice sewing room in the background!

Another helpful tip is trimming the seam allowance. If you’re sewing a background to applique upon, there is no reason to have a bulky seam allowance in your quilt. It’s hard to applique through (if you’re hand appliqueing) and can cause unsightly bumps.

Trimming – go ahead and clip the seam first. Then, using a sharp scissors, trim off ⅛” of your quarter-inch seam.

Now, why would I say to use a ‘sharp’ scissors? Don’t we all use a sharp scissors? Why would I be using a dull scissors? I’ll explain.

Remember when you bought the scissors you have now? Oh – it cuts like a knife through butter. How long ago was that? Is it still cutting like that or is it a little bit dull? Scissors dull quite slowly (assuming you never use them on paper) and we just don’t notice.

When cutting a tricky seam like a curve, and such a narrow strip, you want your scissors to be nice and sharp. The duller they are, the more muscle we put into the movement. Now what happens if you slip? You’ve cut the seam, through the seam and into your fabric. I’m sharing this embarrassing moment from personal experience. It’s not hard to keep your scissors sharpened; make it part of your sewing routine.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have two pair of Gingher scissor that both need sharpening. For tricky bits like this curved seam, I have a lovely pair of scissors from Karen Buckley that I bought on Amazon. Super sharp little tip which is perfect for clipping, and the blades are serrated as well as sharp. The serrated blades help to keep the fabric from slipping around, giving a very accurate cut.


About Karen

Karen has been a seamstress since the age of 9, and a quilter for the past 25 years. She's enjoyed all sorts of quilt adventures including quilt making, hand quilting, quilt design, quilt magazine publication (Cotton Spice) and now she's the editor of The Quilt Pattern Magazine.  She wrote a book - Log Cabin Quilts: A Brand New Story by Karen Murphy (I've since remarried) with Martingale and Company in 2004. Karen also enjoys knitting, writing and editing, and hunting treasure in thrift stores and estate sales. She has 14 grandchildren and one on the way. You can read her blog on writing and editing at  Or visit her Etsy shop where she sells her primitive stitchery designs


  1.' Tina WEMYSS says:

    Thank goodness for my curve foot, horrified at the price when I bought it at the show but now can’t do without it, hahaha

  2. Oh, I wish I had one of those! 🙂

    • They are available from PunchandJudy Australia, but search the internet to see if someone else in NZ sells it! I bought mine from them at a show and can’t live without it, hahaha, even use it for dressmaking around the shoulder for the sleeves!

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