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Conversational Threads

Turning and pressing edge seams

Sancin | Posted in General Sewing Info on

Last night I made a slip cover for a small pillow. Turning the cover inside out after sewing it and getting ready to press the edge it took longer than the cutting out and the sewing together. I turn the fabric and then pinned the edges so that the seam was right on the edge before ironing the cover – I don’t like it when the seam inverts into the case. I got to thinking … I have been sewing and doing this for over 60 years, usually when turning a facing and there has to be an easier way!! Mindless but time consuming, especially if the edge is long. With facings, it is a bit easier as I press the seam towards the facing and then edge stitch. Have I been missing some information on this all these years? Does anyone have a tip on doing this faster and still getting a clean edge?


  1. cafms | | #1

    Do you press the seam first flat as it was sewn to set the stitching?  Then open the seam and press it open using a seam roll. Finally press it the way that you want it to remain.  For the pillow it would be enclosed in the inside and on a facing both seam allowances toward the facing and then understitched.  I've found that careful pressing really helps to make a nice crisp edge.  When doing a french seam it really helps to get the fabric to turn on the seam line to do the next line of stitching.  I always tell my students they should spend as much time at the ironing board as at the sewing machine.

    1. Sancin | | #2

      Thanks for the quick response. You know when I was doing the pinning I was thinking I should have done a first press to set the seam, but I hadn't. I do this on regular seams. Thinking it was a small job, I guess I just forgot. This was a small pillow for my back. I hadn't thought about pressing it open, but now that I think about it, it makes sense. I usually do spend as much time at the ironing board as sewing. In fact I replace my iron almost every year, just to make sure it really holds it's heat and doesn't sputt when on steam. As I get older I am constantly amazed at what things I remember, and what things I don't! Thanks again.

      1. cafms | | #3

        Pressed seams or not I hope it helps your back anyway.

  2. jjgg | | #4

    Like Camfs said, you have to press the seam open before turning.

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