Thursday, 22 March 2012

Teaching curved piecing

I've been asked to teach the technique that Pat Deacon has invented to  make curved piecing simpler. I think she has invented a brilliant method which I thought I'd share here.
Keeping it simple with different degrees of difficulty.
  1. The original drawing is reversed and the reverse image traced onto freezer paper. Register marks are added to the pattern to mark the point at which curved move from CONCAVE to CONVEX. Do this along the whole join.
  2. Now cut the sections apart accurately.
  3. Iron the freezer paper onto the WS of the chosen fabric and cut out, adding a 1cm seam allowance on the marked edge.
4.Where you have a CONCAVE edge you are going to snip the seam allowance from one register mark to the next.
5.Take one section. Look really carefully at the edge with the seam allowance. You are now going to mark where you will snip the seam allowance. This is the most important stage in making this technique work.
6.Snip the seam allowance on the CONCAVE sections
 7.You now need some spray starch and a paintbrush, iron and board.
8. Paint a little starch on the snipped seam allowances and press the seam allowance over the edge of the freezer paper. Do this at all points on this piece of fabric.
9. Now do the same for the other piece of fabric, if necessary putting the edges back together to check that the marks tally.
10. We are now going to put these two pieces of fabric together for stitching. Work with the freezer paper side uppermost.
 11. Start at on end. The snipped and pressed section will lie UNDERNEATH the unpressed sections.
12. Using masking tape, take short pieces and stick the visible seam allowance to the freezer paper, do this every 5-10cm so that the sections are firmly held in place while you machine. (if you are joining more than 2 sections, always machine one before taping on the next section)
13. Thread up the machine with either a matching thread or invisible thread.
14. Set machine to BLIND HEM stitch, 1/2 width and a medium stitch length.
15. Carefully check which way your blind hem stitch swings. Also check whether your machine allows you to flip the swing stitch direction as you stitch.

16. The idea is to have the swing stitch of the blind hem going into the folded edge of the fabric and the straight stitched running next to the fold on the unfolded edge. If you can flip your stitch, start stitching at one end and work all the way to the far end. If you can't flip the stitch you will need to stitch each section between the register marks separately, turning the fabric round so that the swing stitch always goes into the folded edge of the fabric.
17. Stitch slowly, leave the needle down to allow you to turn tight curves.
18. Neaten the machine ends.
19. Carefully remove the masking tape from the pattern.
20. Now gently pull the freezer paper off the fabric. If you have stitch over  it, use a pin to gently resease the paper and cut it away.
 21. Press fabric on WS

Finished piece

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for such a comprehensive explanation. I've seen how to do less complex curves before, but this is so much more useful.