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Thread: How does one get a flat finished look?

  1. #1
    bettyd's Avatar
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    When I sew two pieces right sides together, then turn them right sides out, the edges are never sharp (flat). Is there a secret that I am unaware of to get a smooth edge. I do try and wiggle the seam to the edge but I am not pleased with the look. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Press the seam before you turn inside out. I also use a point turner...run it along the seam then press.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettyd
    When I sew two pieces right sides together, then turn them right sides out, the edges are never sharp (flat). Is there a secret that I am unaware of to get a smooth edge. I do try and wiggle the seam to the edge but I am not pleased with the look. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I don't understand what you mean by wiggling the seam to the edge.

    There is always a little "turn of the cloth" when ironing seams to one side. The side that has the seams will be bulkier and the sewn edge on that side will be more rolled. This is really not a problem in quilts unless you have a complex block where many points meet. Batting and quilting take care of whatever unflatness there may be in the blocks after pressing.

    You can get flatter seams by ironing the seams open, but that is usually done only when absolutely necessary to get precision points and joins because it is more work. With hand piecing, seams are usually ironed to one side because it relieves stress on the single thread and makes the piecing less likely to pull out. With machine sewn seams, however, pressing open is still strong enough to hold well. Some battings will tend to "beard" through pressed open seams, however, so that is another reason why quilters usually iron seams to one side.

    Edit: Oh, rats! I did misunderstand. I am talking about pieced seams, and you are asking about turned applique pieces. Sorry!

  4. #4
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    Quote Originally Posted by bettyd
    When I sew two pieces right sides together, then turn them right sides out, the edges are never sharp (flat). Is there a secret that I am unaware of to get a smooth edge. I do try and wiggle the seam to the edge but I am not pleased with the look. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    I don't understand what you mean by wiggling the seam to the edge.

    There is always a little "turn of the cloth" when ironing seams to one side. The side that has the seams will be bulkier and the sewn edge on that side will be more rolled. This is really not a problem in quilts unless you have a complex block where many points meet. Batting and quilting take care of whatever unflatness there may be in the blocks after pressing.

    You can get flatter seams by ironing the seams open, but that is usually done only when absolutely necessary to get precision points and joins because it is more work. With hand piecing, seams are usually ironed to one side because it relieves stress on the single thread and makes the piecing less likely to pull out. With machine sewn seams, however, pressing open is still strong enough to hold well. Some battings will tend to "beard" through pressed open seams, however, so that is another reason why quilters usually iron seams to one side.

    Edit: Oh, rats! I did misunderstand. I am talking about pieced seams, and you are asking about turned applique pieces. Sorry!
    Still good information!

  5. #5
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I set the seam with steam heat and then use a clapper to make the seam very flat (a bacon press will work).

  6. #6
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    Prisim, those were sure great directions!! That would help anyone.

  7. #7
    bettyd's Avatar
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    I was asking about piecing. Just hard to describe what I mean.
    I guess the word wiggling was incorrect. I just want it to be flat. even when ironed it doesn't look neat. Thanks for such great advice. bettyd

  8. #8
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettyd
    I was asking about piecing. Just hard to describe what I mean.
    I guess the word wiggling was incorrect. I just want it to be flat. even when ironed it doesn't look neat.
    Just a thought, check your tension and than if that is Ok, press your seam on wrong side flate before pressing open. It is called setting your seam.

  9. #9
    Super Member karielt's Avatar
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    I also set the seam with my iron then I clip the edges and clip the cornings off.

  10. #10
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    When I sew two pieces of fabric together...right sides together I always "set" the seam by pressing the seam with my thumb and moving it along the seam with pressure applied, first. I then turn the fabric making sure the seam is laying in the direction I want it to go (toward the dark fabric) and finger press it really well. Sorry I don't like to press with an iron until I am ready to sandwich it.....I am a finger presser.

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