Hi Everyone

I was wondering if anyone could give a novice some tips on sewing curved area on hats. I have the most trouble trying to sew sharp curves on the sewing machine, especially trying to add binding. Are there any tools I should be using to help me tackle this??

Any tips you guys have are highly appreciated!!

Just wanted to give a shout out to Elaine for putting together a really fantastic site the lessons are invaluable, i have learnt so much, and look forward to learning more as I progress through the lessons. As a stay at home mom/ eager milliner with two small kids this website is a godsend. Thanks a million.


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I hand sew all of my hats and like seeing binding where you can not see the stitching.    If you are going to sew binding on with a machine, be sure to swirl it to fit the curve.  Pin it in place and use your presser foot as a guide. Sewing curves becomes easier with practice.  Use scraps of fabric that you have cut with curves and practice sewing scrap binding until you get the hang of it.

Ditto on what Bridget said.  I would add if you are going to machine sew, use an older mechanical (not electronic) machine, and use the hand wheel when you are on curves.  With the needle in the needle down position, lift the pressure foot, and turn the hat. Slow and steady wins this race.  If you hit a wire with an electronic sewing machine, you will undoubtedly end up at the sewing machine repair store.  

You can also try using clear thread.  I don't like sewing with it, but some folks like it.  

I like doing it by hand also.  I have school-age kids (probably a little older than yours).  I do hand work when I'm watching them to make sure they do their homework, etc.  

And yes, I agree, Elaine has built a wonderful site!  


I hand sew everything. I prefer the barely perceptible stitches.

Hi Nono, as others have said, go very slow - and hand stitching is the slowest! 

I will usually hand stitch binding.  But if machining, and for fabric pattern hats, I  press everything first, pin and tack before stitching.  The basic rules of sewing apply for hats too, so maybe this tutorial on attaching bias to curves will help. 


Hope this helps x

Yes, a high quality steam iron is worth its weight in gold!

Thanks for all the replies. I have been trying to sew on bias with machine on one side and then pull it over the edge, fold under then hand sew with a slip stitch on the other side. It looks nice and neat when done properly. I have a digital sewing machine, the problem is most likely me and the machine, will keep practicing. I agree the hand sewing looks better on different binding like petersham. I'm currently making hatinators with a satin bind. Will check out vid. Thanks

Satin can be a pain - so slippery.  Have you tried covering your edges with cotton bias first?  Just fold it over, press out wrinkles, and zig zag in place.  For me, it gives satin/silk fabrics something to grip, so they sit better.

Thanks, I'm using a crinoline bind, havnt tried it with the cotton will give it a go, thanks


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