After sewing the Style Arc Victoria I thought I’d share the method I used to sew those tricky corner seams you see at the back and above the bust:
I was taking photos on the fly with my phone so I apologize if the orientation and focus is a little weird!
To follow my method you’re going to need small, very sharp scissors, pins, a pencil, ruler, and iron-on stabilizer. The stabilizer holds the shape of your fabric (in this case, silk georgette) and will help you know when to pivot. I have tried making corners without it before and found it much, much harder, especially on a lightweight fabric like this. So why not use the stabilizer and make your life a little bit easier?
What you’re going to do first is make “stay” pieces from the stabilizer. Take the stabilizer and trace your pattern at the edges where the corners are. Then iron the stabilizer to the pattern piece. After you iron it on, take a pencil and mark your seam allowance on the stabilizer. In this case it is 3/8″. Create a stay for any piece where there’s a pivot point. Do it for both pieces that are going to be sewn together, not just the top one.
Next you’re going to pin the pieces together at the seamline and at the corner. Make sure they match up at the pivot point. Since you marked the seamline it is easy to know just where to place that pin.
Now stitch your seam, using your paper as a guide. I find it best to sew with the corner (as opposed to the “pointed” piece”) on top. Keep your needle in the down position whenever you stop.
Decrease the stitch length when you are within 1/2″ of the corner. Stop EXACTLY at the corner. Very important: Make sure your needle is in the down position!
Now lift your presser foot, take your scissors and cut into that corner at a 45º angle. It is exactly like a welt pocket where you don’t want to cut into the stitching, but instead get as close as possible (barely 1/16″ at the most). Just like with a welt pocket, the closer you cut the sharper your corner will be. Just make sure not to cut into the stitching!
Now pivot and turn your fabric so the new seamline is in front of you. Take all of your fabric that’s bunched up and push it to the side and back, match up the seams and start sewing. It may take a minute to pivot and orient your fabric—just take your time! You’ll see a tiny fold right before the needle. Just sew right over it. The more you cut into that corner the smaller the fold and the sharper your corner will be. That’s why it is important to cut as closely as possible. Once you are 1/2″ past the corner you can resume your normal stitch length.
When you are done with your seam you can tear away the stabilizer. With my delicate fabric I had the best results when I held the seam allowance between my fingers very close to the stitching, and gently tugged away the stabilizer. The needle creates a proforated edge along the stabilizer which makes it a little easier to tear away. After you tear away the stabilizer from the main body the stabilizer in the seam allowance usually just falls away.
Now all that’s left to do is press your corner. I also topstitched mine.