Skip to Content

Sewing Curves Made Simple: Tips for Perfect Curves (2023)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

how to sew curveCareful friend, those curves ahead look treacherous. But don’t worry – with my tips, you’ll be able to navigate them like a pro. Sewing curves may seem daunting at first, but it’s just a matter of taking it slow and steady.

I’ll walk you through the basics so you can whip up the curviest creations your heart desires.

Now, grab your machine and let’s get sewing! This tutorial’s got all the tips and tricks you need to sew curves with ease. We’ll go over convex and concave curves, curve clipping, curved seams, cutting and pressing – no curveball will throw you now! Just remember to take your time, use lots of pins, and keep practicing.

So what are you waiting for? Adventure awaits – let’s round those corners to sewing success!

Key Takeaways

  • Mark seam allowances on pattern pieces before cutting curved shapes
  • Baste curved seams first with fabric glue or pins before final sewing
  • Use plenty of pins when pinning curved seams. Pin frequently
  • Sew curved seams slowly. Make small lifts and pivots to keep the seam smooth

Sewing Curves Tutorial

Sewing Curves Tutorial
You’re gonna love mastering curved piecing – it just takes going slow and pressing well! Start with something easy like a gentle curve before moving to tighter ones. Cut your pieces precisely, following the grainline. Pin often, easing fullness as you go.

Set your machine to a short stitch length and sew gently, pivoting frequently. Press each seam after stitching so they lie flat.

With practice, you’ll be whipping up Drunkard’s Path and Double Wedding Ring quilts in no time.

How to Sew Curves That Are Convex

How to Sew Curves That Are Convex
Let’s dive in and learn how to master sewing convex curves for beautiful results.

Then, sew the pieces together slowly, guiding the fabric gently with your fingertips.

Once sewn, clip the seam allowance in strategic spots – but don’t cut the stitching line itself.

Finally, carefully turn the curved seam right side out and press well, easing fullness for a smooth finish. With patience and practice, curved seams can become a satisfying technique in your sewing skillset.

Step 1: Mark Seam

After prepping your fabric, mark the seam allowance to follow the curve precisely.

  1. Use a removable fabric marker.
  2. Draw just inside the seam allowance.
  3. Follow the shape of the curve.
  4. Mark the entire length of the seam.

Now you have a guide for pivoting and stitching around the curve. Follow the marked line as you sew for best results.

Step 2: Sewing Curves Instructions

Sewing Curves Instructions:

Now carefully guide the curves like flowing water, easing fullness as you stitch. Pin often and stitch slowly, lifting the presser foot to realign if needed. Stay focused on following the marked seam line.

Use a clapper tool and starched fabric for pressing crisp seams. Gentle easing of the outer curve after sewing flattens the seam.

Step 3: Clipping

Y’all go ahead and clip those seam allowances in the direction of the curves so your quilt dreams stay great and grand. Closer inspection of the seam allowance line calls for strategic planning. Use smaller stitches and a curved ruler for correct pin placement.

Clipping the seams allows the curved fabric pieces to open up fully. Clip curved fabric pieces in the seam allowance only. Avoid cutting into the seam stitches. Proper clipping keeps seams flat when pressing.

Step 4: Turn & Press

You’ll turn your project right side out and press those curves smooth with steam. To complete the curve sewing process, fold under the seam allowance and press the clipped seam lines between fabric edges.

Adjust the iron heat and use steam to set the curve’s shape. With a final press, seam allowances are turned under and curves lay flat and crisp.

Sewing Curves That Are Concave

Sewing Curves That Are Concave
Follow these tips when piecing together concave curves for a flawless finish.

When sewing concave curves, clip into the seam allowance of the inner curve about every 1/2 inch to allow the fabric to spread and lie flat. Grade the seam allowances, trimming the inner curve seam slightly narrower. This prevents bulk when pressing.

Mark and match grainlines first since grain is key for curves. Ease the outer curve piece gently as you sew to fit the inner curve. Make small pivots and lifts to keep the curve smooth. Go slowly, and press after sewing.

With practice, easing concave curves becomes second nature, allowing you to sew beautiful flowing shapes with ease and mastery.

How to Sew Curved Seams

How to Sew Curved Seams
When sewing curved seams, the key steps are adding seam allowance, marking centers, easing and pinning, sewing curves, and clipping. Start by adding 1/4 seam allowance when cutting your fabric pieces. Next, mark the center of each curve with a dot or pin to align them.

Ease fullness between the curves by gently stretching the outer curve, then pin frequently to hold the shape. Sew slowly, guiding the fabric with your fingertips. Finally, clip into curved seams to allow them to lie flat when pressed open.

Step 1: Add Seam Allowance

After prepping your fabric, grab those rulers and add seam allowances.

  • Use a fabric pencil or chalk marker to mark the seam allowance width on your pattern pieces. Aim for 1/4 to 3/8.
  • Match corresponding points of the curved shape when pinning.
  • Press and starch fabric well before sewing curves.
  • Set your machine stitch length shorter, around 2.0 for best results.

Step 2: Mark Centers

Next, mark the center of each curved piece with a dot or notch before pinning. This will help align the curves correctly. Use a marking tool like a Fons & Porter chalk pencil to lightly mark the center on the wrong side.

For printed fabrics, look for the midpoint of the print’s design. Accurately marking centers keeps the curves matched up and prevents puckering when sewing.

Step 3: Ease and Pin

Take care when easing the fabric as you pin, allowing the curve to lie flat and be ready for stitching.

  • Handle the fabric pieces gently to minimize interference.
  • Proper alignment is crucial, so use thick pins.
  • Pin in small dashes along the curved seam.

Step 4: Sewing Curves

Don’t freak out, friend. Ease that sucker through the machine gently, like you’re driving your grandma to church. When sewing curves, guide the fabric by hand and go slow. For concave curves, turn the fabric manually.

For convex curves, invert your work. Fine-tune the foot pressure as needed. Perfect curves take practice, so be patient and precise.

Step 5: Clipping

To refine seamless beauty in curved piecing, clipping insights help exercise mobility and flexibility into faultless pieced blocks. Use scissors to clip into the seam allowances around the curved seam. Cut perpendicular to your piece, not into your stitching line.

Use more pins than usual when sewing to hold curves smoothly before clipping the curving edges. This allows the blocks to open up fully, with smooth curving edges between shapes.

Start With Starched Fabric

Start With Starched Fabric
You catch the wind, letting the crisp cotton billow between your fingers like a kite on the breeze. Ironing with spray starch before cutting and sewing provides structure for working curved seams. Mist fabric lightly, focusing just within seam allowances. Let starch penetrate fibers before pressing well with a hot iron.

Use an up-down motion for even saturation. Test spray starch brands to find one with ideal stiffness without making fabric too stiff to handle. Proper starch application techniques and a good press set curves before stitching.

Carefully align your pins on the right sides as you join a bit at a time. Master curved piecing and savor the satisfaction of guiding the fabric just so, allowing it to flow through your skilled hands with each stitched wave.

Cut Precise Pieces for Sewing Curves

Cut Precise Pieces for Sewing Curves
When sewing curves, start by cutting precise fabric pieces. For accuracy, use a fabric cutting machine or rotary cutter with curved quilting rulers. Following the exact seam lines makes guiding and easing the curves simpler in the sewing process.

Using a Fabric Cutting Machine

Cut exact curves with a fabric cutter’s helpful alignment notches. Test the pressure on scrap fabric first and adjust the feed rate as needed. Practice on straight lines before attempting curves. Mark seam allowances along edges with an erasable fabric marker.

Carefully align and feed the fabric following the marked seam line. Adjust the presser foot pressure for different fabric weights.

Using a Rotary Cutter

A rotary cutter and an acrylic template allow you to cut precise curved pieces quickly. Follow the marked lines and run the rotary cutter against the acrylic guide to slice fabrics cleanly. Opt for high-quality blades like Olfa for longevity when cutting successive shapes.

Check that the fabric’s cut edge matches the template’s seam allowance. Adjust the pressure applied to the rotary cutter for optimal results on each fabric. Use a highlighter to trace the outline first. Master clean curve cutting with the right tools.

Baste Curves in Place With Glue or Pins

Baste Curves in Place With Glue or Pins
Before carefully aligning and gluing curved fabric pieces together, test the washable fabric glue on scrap material first to ensure it won’t bleed through.

Use a small artist’s paintbrush to apply a thin layer of fabric glue within the seam allowance.

Let the glue tack up for a minute or two before finger pressing pieces together.

Check alignment of centers and edges before the glue sets fully.

With practice, glue basting along with frequent steaming and finger pressing allows precisely aligned curves for beautiful results when stitched.

Forget starch, just baste well and remember a steam iron beats an ironing board for pressing curves.

Your curves will lie flat and neat when you gently ease fullness while machine stitching.

Tips for Sewing Curves on Your Sewing Machine

Tips for Sewing Curves on Your Sewing Machine
When sewing curves on your sewing machine, it helps to take it slow and remember to use the needle-down feature. Sew tricky parts of the curve by gently guiding the fabric with your fingertips while lowering the presser foot after each stitch.

Keeping the needle penetrated in the fabric allows for smooth pivoting around curves.

Sew Slowly

Now stitch curved parts real slowly by hand cranking the wheel. Lower the sewing machine’s speed for curves; take your time. Use quality starch and proper pins to hold the gentle curves in place. Apply gentle pressure as you sew a curve; make multiple small adjustments.

Shorter stitches and going slow prevents puckers in the project. You’ll have a beautifully sewn curve you can press flat. With practice, curves become easier, so don’t be afraid to try ’em on your next quilted masterpiece.

Use the Needle Down Feature on the Sewing Machine

Keep the needle down when sewing curves, as this allows you to pivot fabric more easily and prevents losing your place. Shockingly, over 80% of beginner sewers report frustration with learning to sew curves.

Using the needle down feature allows you to pivot and slide fabric under the presser foot, keeping layers aligned. Simply lift the presser foot, reposition your fabric along the seam line, lower the foot, and continue stitching.

Effective pressing is also key for curves, setting the stitches before moving on.

Press It Flat

Press It Flat
After smoothing that tricky curve with your hand, slowly lower the presser foot and feel the fabric ease under your fingertips as you gently guide it through.

  • Drop that feed dog and use a needle down pivot for pinpoint turns.
  • Vertical pinning prevents distortion.
  • Slower turtle speed prevents rushing and pulling.
  • Shorter stitch length increases accuracy.
  • Press fabric firmly after sewing to flatten seams. Steam helps ease puckers.

With practice, you’ll master curves with patience and precision. Your fabric will glide smooth as silk under the presser foot, the final curves crisp and flat like glass.

Finish Sewing Your Quilt Block

Finish Sewing Your Quilt Block
You’ve curved your way through the rockiest roads of piecing, so show off your finished quilt block like the prized medal it is.

Despite the tricky sewing, you kept the fabric’s tension even and the feed dogs moving steadily thanks to the right needles. Marking those curved seams with a removable fabric marker and checking with a seam gauge or ruler ensured accuracy.

Guiding the gentle curves under the presser foot with your fingertips kept the fabric moving smoothly.

Though curved piecing takes patience, your persistence results in intricate blocks with depth and dimension. Display your finished piece proudly, knowing the care taken perfecting those curves. The end result will have others eager to try their hand at this satisfying skill.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What sewing machine settings work best for sewing curves?

When taming curves, slow down your sewing machine to a trot. Shorten your stitch length to about 2 millimeters and gently guide the fabric with your fingertips. Maintaining a steady pace will help prevent puckers. Allow the machine to do the work; forcing it will only lead to frustration.

Trust the process. With practice, those challenging curves will become graceful bends that you can effortlessly conquer.

My curved seams puckered after sewing. How can I fix this?

Gently ease the fullness by pulling the fabric taut as you pin and resew the seam. Use a shorter stitch length to give you more control. Press well, applying steam or starch. Take your time guiding the pieces through the machine to prevent puckers. Perfecting curved piecing takes patience, so don’t get frustrated.

Are there any tools that help guide the fabric when sewing tricky curves?

Yes, using a specialized curved ruler like the Creative Grids Double Wedding Ring Templates can help guide tricky curved seams. The see-through plastic lets you trace the precise curve for fussy patches. Line up the ruler’s center markings and cut.

What’s the best way to join curves sections together smoothly?

Pin and sew the ends first when joining curves. Work the middle sections gently, easing fullness. Make small, frequent pivots. Guide the fabric with your fingertips. Take it slowly and check the fit often.

Let the feed dogs assist; don’t force layers through. Press the seams well. With practice, you’ll achieve smooth curved seams.

Is it better to sew curves with a walking foot or regular sewing machine foot?

Sew with the regular presser foot for better control of curves. Anchoring the fabric as you go lets you gently guide tricky areas. The walking foot pushes layers evenly but lacks nimble handling around bends. Master fiddly curves with your standard foot first.


You’ve come so far in your sewing journey. As you master these curve techniques stitch-by-stitch, it’s like climbing a mountain. The summit is within reach if you pace yourself, being mindful to appreciate the obstacles that strengthen you.

Your hands may tremble at first when sewing curves, but with practice, they’ll become steady, guided by the eye of experience. The tricky rise of convex and dip of concave will soon feel as familiar as your favorite walking path.

You know the joy that awaits at the journey’s end – your finished quilt glowing with those perfectly-sewn curves and swirls.

So take a deep breath and sew on! The how to sew curve is waiting for your hands and heart to guide it.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.