I’m sure I’m not the first, but I found a little trick that makes ironing up the raw edges of fabric a lot easier.
This past weekend I’d been working on a quilt, and after piecing the top together, I decided that some of the fabrics just didn’t fit with the colour scheme and wanted to replace them with another fabric. Not feeling too keen about taking everything apart, I figured it would be easier to applique new patches on top of the old ones. (Lazy, I know… don’t judge!)
In order to applique the new patches, I had to iron the raw edges underneath on each side. In general, ironing my raw edges up is one of my most dreaded sewing tasks – it’s so finicky, and the result is usually a wonky edge and burning my fingers with the iron.
But, my friends, this time was different!
I realized that I could draw a seam allowance on the wrong side of my fabric with tailor’s chalk and then placed a piece of card or thick paper along the line to use as a guide for my iron. This method is very quick and easy, and gives you a nice clean edge. After pressing with the card/paper as a guide, I removed it and pressed again along the fold. Once I had done this for all sides of my patches, I was able to carefully topstitch them on to my quilt.
This method works for applique, and I think it would also work for things like patch pockets or hems. For curved edges, you should be able to cut a piece of card with the required shape and still use that as a guide. (Mind, you I haven’t tried this myself…)
An alternate approach that I read somewhere on the Coletterie blog is sewing a basting stitch along where you want the fold to be and using that as a guide. (Haven’t tried that method either!)
Give it a try!