How to sew right angles

On the surface, sewing right angles looks fairly simple - until you reach the corner, and find that the next two seams to be sewn together happen to be at opposite ends of the sewing machine...

Cutting corners is usually ill advised - however if you are sewing a right angle, you literally need to cut into your corner. It is a straight forward process, but one that requires a certain accuracy. I break the method down into a few simple steps in the video and photos below.

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Before you begin sewing its a good idea to mark the EXCACT point of your corner. On the piece that has the square cut out, I have marked this point on the right side of the fabric. On the square that will be inserted into the cut out, the point is marked on the wrong side of the fabric. Lay both your pieces right sides together. Place a pin in the corner point to ensure that the seams don't move or shift while you're sewing.

 Step 1.

Step 1.

1. Sew your seam, ensuring to stop EXACTLY on this intersection point. I usually stop a couple stitches away from the point and hand wind my needle into place. Lift the presser foot up, but keep the needle DOWN.

 Step 2

Step 2

Rotate the whole garment clockwise until the next seam is lined up in front of the presser foot in the correct position to sew. You will then need to cut a small slash line from the inside of the bottom corner towards the needle. Dont cut it right to the needle, stop about 1-2mm away from the needle. This cut will release the tension of the seam allowance, letting it open up so you can perform the next step.

 Step 3.

Step 3.

Step 3. With the needle still down, and the presser foot still up - hold the lower piece in place as it is, then pivot just the top piece (Anti-clockwise) back around the needle so that it is placed in front of you again. The two raw edges of the unsewn seams should match up and be sitting edge to edge on top of each other. Before continuing to sew the second part of the corner, it is important to check that you have pushed all fabric out of the way and you haven't got any pieces caught under the seam (very easy to do). Put the presser foot down and continue sewing.

The photos above show what the finished corner should look like. Note the picture on the left shows the slash you cut into it.

TIPS:

-If you are using delicate or a loosely woven fabric that has a tendency to fray you can place a small patch of fusible on the corner (of the wrong side of the fabric) that will be cut into before you start sewing.

-It is also a good idea to turn your stitch length down at the corner. Usually 1-2cm before you hit the corner, then turn it back to your regular stitch length 1-2cm after you have turned the corner. This also helps prevent any holes or the corner from fraying away.

There are four corners on the Kabuki Tee - so its a great chance to get your technique perfect.

 Happy making!

TARA VIGGO