12 November 2012

How to Shape a Sharp Corner

Wanna know a really cool tip I learnt for creating sharp, sturdy corners that hold their shape? After stitching a corner on a collar, facing etc, home sewing patterns usually tell us to snip across the corner seams before turning, in order to eliminate bulk which could distort the the shape. There is, however, another (arguably better?) way of doing it, which I learnt on my Professional Sewing Techniques course at the London College of Fashion.

(Before I continue, I feel I should qualify the use of the word "cool" in the above paragraph. If you are reading this because you are crackers about sewing, you'll probably deem the use of the word "cool" appropriate. If, on the other hand, you are reading this because you are my friend Doug, you probably won't consider this particularly cool. But I digress...)

Where was I? Oh yes, corners. With this method, instead of considering the seams a nuisance to be cut off, instead you're working with them as a support mechanism for the corner. Particularly if one side is interfaced, that extra fabric will form a nice, sturdy structure to hold the corner out and help it keep its shape. Plus it's much less likely to develop a hole. Sound good? Here we go:

1. Stitch your corner as normal, right sides together. But do not cut the corner at all.

2. Fold one set of seams towards one side of the garment fabric. If one piece of fabric has interfacing on it and the other doesn't, fold the seams towards the non-interfaced side, as the interfacing on top will help with creating a sharp corner. Holding them there, do the same with the other set of seams.

3. Holding the seams firmly in place, turn the garment through to the right side. You can use the finger or thumb that is holding the seams to start forming the corner shape. Now use a pin on the right side of the garment to gently pull the corner through and coax it into a nice, sharp point. (Obviously watch out you don't poke a hole in the fabric with the pin.)

And that's it! A really sturdy corner that will hold itself up. Have you used this technique before?

[Soundtrack: 'Bring it on Home to Me' by Sam Cooke]