Today I’m going to show you how to fix and prevent flipped seam allowances. I’m sure this has happened to every quilter at some point. You’ve nested your seams and pinned them securely. You stitch your seam like always and when you turn it over, you see the bottom seam has flipped. Oh, the frustration! But, trust me, it’s not you. It’s your sewing machine.
In my example above, only one half of the seam allowance has flipped over. It looks like an open seam allowance. Usually it’s the complete seam that has flipped over. I don’t have a photo of one, but I think you know what I mean.
Let’s start with how to fix this little problem. There are several things you can do.
- You could just leave it be. Iron it the way you want it to go. You’ll probably have a little twist at the seam. Nobody will ever know!
- Un-sew that small section and re-sew it again. Ugh, really?
- Snip into the seam allowance just behind the seam. This allows the seam to lay flat. It’s my preferred method. Yes, I’m lazy that way.
To snip the seam allowance, you’ll need small, sharp scissors. I’m using my new Tula Pink Micro Tip Scissors. I think they have found their true purpose in life. They worked perfect for this; although most any scissors will do, but be careful with this. You just want to snip up to the seam by a few threads. Err on the side of “not too close” but close enough.
Now your seam allowances will lay flat. Pretty as a picture!
Now let’s get to the really important part of this lesson. How to prevent flipped seams from happening in the first place! It’s such an easy solution; you’re going to love it.
The reason your seams are flipping is because there is a “lip” or a raised edge on your sewing machine bed. Right where the throat plate meets the arm or extension table. When your bottom seam allowance runs across that edge, it flips over. It will only happen with the seam allowances that are facing the needle/throat plate.
To prevent that from happening, just take a piece of tape (I’m using Washi tape because it’s cute) and place it across the raised edge. Don’t press it down too much along the raised edge. You want it to act as a bridge. This will put an end to your flipped seams.
In case you’re wondering, I have a starter scrap under my presser foot and that purple, thick tape is my Sewing Edge. It gives me the perfect, scant 1/4″ seam allowance. You can read my tutorial about that here.
Of course, there is a product made specifically for the task at hand. It’s called the Betty Bridge Supreme. I have used it before, and it works wonderfully. It smooths out the height difference with a little more “oomph” than a piece of tape. But try the tape! I think you’ll find it makes a big difference.
How’s that for an easy fix? Now go forth and make beautiful seams!