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Monday, July 23, 2007

Sewing Technique - How To Sew A Perfect Scalloped Edge

Sewing Technique - Scallops

Sewing Friends:

For an dressed up look, add a scalloped edge to your basic garment. Scallops are great for that jacket, dress or top you are making for the special occasion in your life or a pretty party outfit.

It is easy to add scallops at hem edges or faced edges.

Think about the bottom of a top, jacket, dress, skirt, pants or sleeves. How about at the front edge of a button-up front of a garment. Or, make scallops at the outer edges of rounded collars or shawl collars or around necklines.

Sew an outside facing with a topstitched scalloped edge, too.

Put them on pockets and pocket flaps.

Now, don't go crazy and put scallops too many places on the same garment or it will scream "homemade!" Choose one or two places like the bottom of a full sleeve and the bottom of the hem of the garment.

Here is how to make a scalloped edge

First determine how wide and deep you want the finished scallops to be. Use larger scallops on larger areas like a skirt hem and small ones on a child's collar.

Example: I wanted to scallop the hem edge of a plain old tank top like Kwik Sew 2498. The finished width was 42 inches around the bottom. I decided I wanted about a 3 inch wide by 2-1/2 inch deep scallop which would give me 14 even scallops around the hem.

This is the hardest part. You don't want to end up with part of a scallop. Try to make them come out even.

Once you calculate the size of the scallop, draw it on a manila folder or lightweight cardboard.

I usually draw just one and double check that it will work on my garment OK and will come out even.

Then, draw three or four scallops together to make a template out of the manila folder or cereal box cardboard. This will aid in tracing and pressing the scallops.

Strive for accuracy. Recheck your math, drawing and cutting to be sure you are right.

What You Don't Do

What you don't do is cut the scallops in the fabric before your sew the garment. Be patient!

Use the following sewing technique to sew a perfect scalloped edge.

Prepare Folded Edges

My tank top pattern called for a 1 inch hem. I added another 1-1/2 inch to the length at the bottom to give me a 2-1/2 inch hem allowance to make the scallops.

Press and pin the 2-1/2" hem edge up to the right side or outside of the garment. That's opposite of what you normally do. You are actually putting the two right sides of the fabric together.

Prepare Stitched On Faced Edges

Lay the facing on the garment as if to stitch it in the normal way with two right sides together.

Collars and Pocket Flaps

Place and pin two right sides of upper and under pieces together.

The bottom line is the two right sides are together.

Mark the Scallops

Now, lay the bottom curve of the cardboard scallop template 1/4 inch up from the hem fold or from the stitching or seam line on the collar or facing.

Draw around the scallops on the fabric with a fine marking pen or chalk.

Move the template around the edge to draw all the scallops.

Sew the Scallops

Set your sewing machine for a short stitch length of about 18 stitches to the inch or 1.5 on some machines.

Start stitching on the outside curve of one of the scallops.

Stitch to the inner point, stop, needle down, raise presser foot, pivot, lower presser foot, take 2 short stitches across the inner V, stop, needle down, raise presser foot, pivot, lower presser foot, continue stitching to next inner point, etc. You know the routine.

Press and Trim the Scallops

When finished stitching, press the stitching on both sides of the garment to meld the stitches.

Now, with small, sharp scissors, trim the seam allowance around the outside of the scallops to only 1/8" from the stitching line. (That's why you used short stitches. It will hold!)

With trimming so closely you will not need to clip the curves. You may need to very carefully clip in a tiny bit to the points. Be very careful.

Turn the scallops right side out.

Slide the cardboard template inside the scallops to help shape them evenly.

Press the scallops with the cardboard inside. Some people prefer to use the single scallop pattern to do this. Others use the full template

Remove the template and press the fabric again.

Repeat this procedure around the scalloped edge.

Finish the Hem

Finish the hem with hand stitches or machine blind hem or fuse in place just as you normally would.

Press well .

You Just Made A Perfect Scalloped Edge

What do you think of your scallops? Aren't they elegant?

More Ideas for Scalloped Edges

Scalloped edges are beautiful in home dec items. Think about making a scalloped edge table cloth with matching napkins or placemats or pillow cases or even pillows. What lovely gifts.

Sew perfect scallops. It just makes sense!

Let me know how you liked this sewing technique and how you used it.

To Your Sewing Success,


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Blogger Shivani Sherman said...

Thank you the detailed instructions. Finally I understand where I went wrong when I tried the scalloped valances. Now I will try again based on your step by step instructions :-)

Kudos to you and your site!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Andrea and Mollye said...

Your scallop tutorial is excellent. I've read several others, but the detailed instructions you provide are fantastic. I followed them and made a beautiful scalloped hem on my daughters dress. Thank you for posting this, it was invaluable.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder would this technique work as well for a castle/turret edge?

10:08 AM  
Blogger Marian said...

This technique will work well for any shape. Try it!

12:48 PM  
Blogger dark_angel_hime said...

i'm lost on the hemming part how would you do it wouldn't it loose the shape a tad?

10:41 AM  
Blogger Marian said...

The facing or hem must be deeper than the finished scallop. The shape of the scallop stays intact and is the shape of the template that you draw and stitch on the fabric. Hope this helps answer your question.

To Your Sewing Success,

8:46 AM  
Blogger ♥Bridgette said...

I am wanting to make my own wedding veil and I saw one in a shop that has a scalloped edge. Would these instructions be the same for my two tier-wedding veil?

11:06 PM  
Blogger Marian said...

You don't want to face the edge of your veil. You just want the edge finished in a scalloped design. About 1 " in from the edge, use a template to draw the size of the scallops you want on the fabric. Then, stitch on these lines. You might try to use the rolled edge on your serger or a plain satin stitch on your sewing machine following the drawn lines. You might also try adding a scalloped edge lace to the edges of the veil. Stitch it on with a small zigzag stitch or by hand.

Hope this helps.

To Your Sewing Success,

9:37 AM  
Blogger AmyG said...

Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!
I've never had any luck with scallops, but now I do! Your tutorial helped so much in figuring out where I was going wrong. Now I have to control myself or I'll scallop anything that holds still!


12:30 PM  

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