We return to our series about the challenges of turned-edge appliqué with the topic of outside points. So far, we have covered marking the lines, turning under the seam allowance, and achieving smooth curves and perfect circles. Outside points can be tricky because there is more fabric in the seam allowance than in the point itself. How do we get the edges turned under and still get a nice, crisp point?
The strategy varies depending on whether you are turning under the seam allowance before you sew or as you sew. Let’s look at both ways.
Turning under the seam allowance as you sew is known as needle-turn appliqué. For an outside point that is less than 90°, begin by stitching right up to the point. Make sure to take small stitches along this side – otherwise, the seam allowance may poke through when you turn the corner.
Turn under the seam allowance perpendicular to the point and pull gently on the thread to keep the point.
Turn under all the layers, taking a longer stitch at the outside point to emphasize it.
The longer stitch completes the point by using the thread to visually extend it.
Turning under the seam allowance before you sew can be done with freezer paper, starch or the Apliquick method. Although the same three step method for needle-turn appliqué could be used, I prefer a different approach when gluing or starching the seam allowance. The Apliquick method was used in the following photos, but the approach remains the same with the other methods.
Turn under and glue the first side of the point.
The outside point of the interfacing has now been covered with seam allowance, with the red arrow indicating the location of the point. Keep this in mind as you glue and turn the other side of the point.
If you did it right, the seam allowance will overlap and extend beyond the edge of the first turned side – but look at that perfect point!
Now all we have to do is turn under the overlapping seam allowance. I use the Apliquick rods to turn and glue the seam allowance back under the point.
And remember, with hand stitching, you can always tuck in any stray threads or bits of seam allowance with your needle as you sew. Good luck with your outside points and next time we’ll tackle those oh-so-prone-to-fray inside points!