Trim Close to the Seam?

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NSC Question

Hi. Thank you for the Advancing Your Sewing Skills class! I am a self taught sewer and therefore am unaware of the finer points of the skill. I have always been told that when trimming the edges of a piece that you are going to be turning to the right side, that it was okay to trim the seams very close to the stitching, rather than cutting out the notches. The class didn’t mention doing it this way. Do you prefer notches?

Submitted by Annie

NSC Answer

I’m glad you enjoyed the class! Yes, I do generally prefer notches rather than trimming close to the seam. This is mostly when sewing garments, as you generally want to keep as much of the seam allowance as possible to help maintain the integrity of the garment. That being said, if you are sewing a home decor item or wanting to trim a seam that is not going to be undergoing any ‘stress’, you can absolutely just trim close to the seam.

Hope this helps!


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Reply to kaethy
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8 Responses to “Trim Close to the Seam?”

  1. Pat

    Hi. I’m a beginner quilter. When I pin my project then sew I get puckers in material when done or when at end of one row material stretched. How do I prevent this from happening.

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  2. Ruth Cirrincione

    I also am a self taught sewer and I did not know that either. Thank you for that.


    When quilting what is best to use? A steam press or an iron??
    Also can I use craft wadding inside a quilt for the children to use on the floor so it’s thicker?
    If so what quilting techniques would you recommend? Thank you!

  4. Pat

    Thanks for the question, the answer and the pinking shears hint. I learned a lot in a few sentences. Understand what to do and when to do it.

  5. Pam

    Whenever possible, I trim these seams with pinking shears. Sort of the best of both worlds.

    • JUDIE

      I have pinking shears, but they are no longer sharp. Is it possible to SHARPEN pinking shears??

      • kaethy

        Yes, I took my mothers pinking shears in to a fabric shop for sharpening. An independent shop that had a sewing machine repairman on the premises.