Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Back Basting Applique - Insides, Outsides & Other Fussy Stitching

I've had some requests to do a tutorial on inside and outside corners.  I don't have anything currently in process, so here are some pictures from the archive. (When will I ever learn to get a manicure BEFORE taking pictures of my hands? Sheesh!)

Stitch up to 1/4" on one side of the point.  The spot where you stop stitching will be the tip your point.  Make a couple extra stitches in place, or close together here.  Trim off any "dog ears" to reduce bulk.

Put your needle into the point of the fabric.

With a sweeping motion, tuck that point all the way back to the stitched section.  Hold it in place with your  thumb.

Use your needle to tuck the seam allowance under on the left side of the point.  Like any seam using needle turn, just use the tip of your needle to stuff under any extra, pull a little out, or to get the fabric underneath to lay flat.  When you're done fussing, make several stitches close together on the left side of the point then continue on stitching the piece.


Make a snip as long as your seam allowance (1/8" if you usually tuck under 1/8", 5mm for 5mm, etc), and and evenly splitting the angle your are turning.  In this example it's a 90 degree angle so it'll be a 45 degree snip.  You may need to make this snip a bit longer, but it's easier to do that than regret you went too deep.  Normally, I wait to snip until I've stitched up to  an inch from the inside point.

I was missing photos of the next steps, so here's a mock up using contrasting thread.  You can see in this photo that the snip wasn't long enough because instead of being a 45 degree angle, it turns up at the corner.
But by making the snip just a LITTLE longer, the edge stays nice and straight to the corner.  As I approach the corner, I make my stitches closer together, then 2-3 right at the inside angle.

Then just turn the corner, flip the seam allowance under, using your needle to fuss with the fabric to make the angle look straight.  Then stitch away from the corner.

For a tight outside curve, I use the needle to turn under the entire curve before stitching anything. My thumb holds the fabric in place while I tuck and pull a tiny bit at a time until I'm happy with the smoothness of the curve.  (Aren't opposable thumbs a grand invention?)

Let me know if things aren't clear and I'll edit accordingly.


Elaine said...

Thank you. That's a great tutorial.

Ethne said...

Great photos, great tutorial

Anne at Film and Thread said...

The part about making the snip in the inside corner really makes sense and is where I have been having problems. Thank you SO much!

RETRO-fabulous said...

I'm a big fan of the thumb, too Marjorie. LOL