All About Accuracy: Part Two- Seams

All About Accuracy: Part Two- Seams

Today features Part TWO of Brenda's question:

Dear Geraldine,

I would love to hear your advice on accurate cutting and accurate seams.

I know this sounds like Quilting 101 but sometimes a refresher course is good for the soul.

I love your comments and your quilting community! Keep up the awesome work!

-Brenda from the Blog Comments

Dear Brenda,

Thanks so much for your question- Here are my top tips for getting the best, most accurate seams.

(If you'd like more information on the first part of Brenda's question about accurate cutting, click here.)

If you'd like a copy of this PDF download, click on the little image below:

PDF Download Top 15 Tips for Accurate Seams

Top 15 Tips for Accurate Seams

  1. Use the Right Needle: Ensure you’re using the appropriate needle for your fabric type to prevent skipped stitches and tension issues.

    Replace sewing machine needles regularly to prevent dullness, which can cause uneven stitches and fabric puckering.

  2. Use High-Quality Thread: Opt for good-quality thread to minimize breakage and achieve smoother, more consistent seams.

  3. Check and Adjust Tension: Test your machine’s tension settings on scrap fabric and adjust as needed to achieve balanced stitches.

  4. Practice Seam Allowance Consistency: Always be consistent with your seam allowance width throughout your project to ensure all pieces align correctly when assembling.

  5. Use a Seam Guide: Attach a seam guide to your machine or use a removable marking tool to help maintain a consistent seam allowance.

  6. Pin or Clip Fabric Layers: Secure fabric layers together with pins or clips before sewing to prevent shifting and ensure accurate seams.

  7. Test Stitch Length: Experiment with stitch length on scrap fabric to find the optimal setting for the fabric you’re working with.

  8. Backstitch at the Beginning and End: Secure your seams by backstitching at the beginning and end of each seam to prevent unraveling.

  9. Trim Threads as You Sew: Trim excess thread tails with a snipper as you sew to keep your work area tidy and avoid tangled threads.

  10. Check Seam Alignment: Periodically stop sewing to check that fabric edges remain aligned and adjust as needed to maintain accuracy.

  11. Sew Slowly and Steadily: Control your sewing speed, especially around corners and curves, to maintain accuracy and prevent fabric distortion.

  12. Practice Proper Seam Finishing: Finish raw edges with techniques like serging, zigzag stitching, or French seams to prevent fraying and create a professional looking finish.

  13. Press as You Go: Press each seam as you sew to set the stitches and create crisp, flat seams for a polished final result. Use a wool mat and clapper for best results.

  14. Grade Seam Allowances: Reduce bulk in seams by trimming seam allowances to different widths, with the widest closest to the fabric edge.

  15. Consider Using a Walking Foot: A walking foot helps feed fabric layers evenly and is especially useful when working with slippery or thick fabrics.


Readers, I hope this helps everyone even just a little bit with seam accuracy. It's SEW important!

And as ALWAYS, readers, I welcome your additional questions and advice in the comments. 

Happy sewing! 


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How can you stop Cotton material from fraying?

Cindy Nordlie

Thank you for the tip on accurate seams. I need help in this area

Renee Valice

Why are today’s patterns so hard to get them to fit. Even though I go by the size guide on the back they are either to big or to small.


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