How to sew a scalloped edge

I’ve learnt many sewing tricks over the years while sewing for clients, but which tip to share first? Well, I thought I’ll start somewhere, and so the “Scalloped Edge” is the first ‘How to’ I’ll share.

You could use this technique for any project, and I thought my next project might be a pair of shorts with a scalloped hem. Its summer here, and I need another pair of shorts!

The best way to sew curvy lines, is to stabilize your fabric. Iron on some Fuseable Interlining (or also called Vilene), on the one side of the pocket flap.

Marking out your scalloped edge
Mark out your seam allowance

Then mark out your seam allowance, using your tape measure, following the curve of the fabric. I use 1,5cm on most of my pattern pieces, so this is somewhat of a standard measurement of mine. You could use a special fabric marker, but I found that the marker pens do not give you a fine mark, so I use a regular pen. This gives me an exact line to follow, when I am sewing. Join your dashes with a nice, curved line, which you can follow.

Sewing the scalloped edge
Use your marked line as your sewing guide

To sew straight lines, I use my magnet guide, but it doesn’t help very much once you get to those curvy lines! Instead follow the line that you drew out, and you’ll get the exact shape that you wanted.

Turning corners on a scalloped edge
Turn your needle down, before turning the corner or point.

A couple stitches before the corner, sew the stiches by turning the hand wheel. You will be able to judge the distance until the point better, and be able to turn the needle down when you get to the point. Lift up your pressure foot, swivel the fabric, and then carry on until the next point.

trimming your scalloped edge
Trim off the excess seam allowance

Of the 1,5cm seam allowance, I trim off about 1cm, which leaves me 0,5cm seam allowance. This is a small, but good amount to leave on seams that are curvy. The fabric is able to turn out easily. If not, you can cut small little snips into the seam allowance, which allows the seam allowance to open up more. (I haven’t shown this in the pic). Trim also your corners and the points.

Turning your scalloped edges
Use a wooden pointer to push out your corners.

Another favourite tool of mine, is a bamboo pointer, which turns out your corners. Turn out your corners as much as possible, and Iron your pocket flap. Ironing your work, is the best way to get a good finish. Fold your work in half, or match up your scalloped points, to see that they are equal and balanced. Not wonky. It is best to fix up any issues now.

Use the edge of the fabric as your guide to get great topstitching.
Use the edge of the fabric as your guide to get great topstitching.

Line up the edge of your machine foot to the edge of the fabric. This will result in a consistent topstitch. Remember to turn your needle down when turning a corner.

A scalloped edge for a pocket flap
A great detail for a cargo pocket

And there you have it! A neat, scalloped edge. Simply said, just mark out the curved line that you want to sew, trim your curves, turn out and iron.

I’d love to see your projects using my techniques, so please head over to my Facebook Page and share your pics with us!