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Video: How to Clip Curves Accurately

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Produced by: Evamarie Gomez, Carol Fresia, Stephani L. Miller, and videographer Jeff Roos

Threads Sewing Tips: Clipping Curved Seam Allowances

Clipping seam allowance curves requires care to ensure that you don't clip too far and cut the stitching by mistake. It's easy to go too far with small scissors. Instead, try using a sharp craft knife. This method is more precise, and it's faster than using scissors.

Reader tip by Pamela Beach, Dearborn, Michigan, which was featured in Threads #129, Feb./March 2007.

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Comments (5)

PBR PBR writes: I read an article that discourages clipping seam allowances, rather it suggest grading.
Posted: 8:46 am on March 6th

Grandma2six Grandma2six writes: This was interesting, but I prefer how Louise Cutting handles this task much better. Her method is done on each layer, on an angle in opposite directions. Works beautifully for me every time!
Posted: 12:15 pm on November 15th

LindaG7 LindaG7 writes: While using a knife to cut away from the seam stitching might be easier to control, to have a smoother finish on the outside once the piece is turned right side out, it is usually best to stagger the seam allowance clips or notches. In this demonstration, the clips are not staggered using the knife in the manner shown as each seam allowance has to be clipped or notched separately to create the staggering.

The piece shown in the video should have staggered notches in the seam allowances in order to turn smoothly, not clips.

It is possible to use a knife on each seam allowance separately, but the seam has to be opened up first. Working on each allowance separately using a knife can be trickier to control than this video would suggest.
Posted: 6:38 am on October 29th

Helen_in_Toronto Helen_in_Toronto writes: My comments are the sames the above. I was waiting for info on how to properly NOTCH those edges.
Posted: 3:31 pm on October 25th

L_Vidler L_Vidler writes: Interesting idea! However, the seam she's demonstrating with has an outer (convex) curve, which requires notching, not clipping.
Posted: 10:53 am on October 25th

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