Sewing patterns will often tell you to clip corners and curves. The reason we do this is so that when your curved or pointed seam is turned the right way out it will sit nice and flat. If you left your seam without clipping it would wrinkle and pull and not look attractive.
Clipping corners and curves helps give a professional look to your finished projects. Look at the difference between these 2 curves. The pink one has been clipped and the green one hasn’t.
The method used to clip your curves and corners depends on its shape.
How to Clip Corners
CLIPPING OUTWARD CORNERS
Where you have an outward corner you will need to clip the point at a diagonal to reduce bulk. Notice how nice and sharp the clipped corner is when turned the right way out.
Once you have turned your piece the right side out find something pointed to further push out the corners. You can purchase point turners but you can usually find something in the house to improvise with. Look in your kitchen junk drawer (yes everyone has one!) for chopsticks, sewers, old forks and anything else that looks pointy but not too sharp.
CLIPPING INWARD CORNERS
To clip an inward corner, make a small cut almost up to the seam allowance into the corner. This will let the seam open up and give a nice shape when it is turned the right way out.
How to Clip Curves
CLIPPING CONVEX CURVES
If you have a convex shape (like a mountain) then you will need to put little v-shaped notches along the curve. This takes out some of the bulkiness of the fabric when you turn it the right way out.
CLIPPING CONCAVE CURVES
If you have a concave shape (like a valley) then just put little snips along the curve almost up to the stitch line. Careful not to cut through it.
How to Press Corners and Curves
When you turn your curved piece the right way out, use a blunt object such as a point turner, chopstick or even a butter knife to smooth out the curve before pressing.
Give the curve a good press. You will be surprised how much flatter it now looks. For stubborn fabrics, a little steam or spray of water will also help.
Do you have any extra tips you use for clipping curves? Please share below.