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Tips & Techniques > stitch a perfect circle

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Posted by: SewVeryTall

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Posted on: 10/31/04 7:01 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 1 people   Very Helpful by 7 people   
You'll need two things, and you probably already have them...a thumbtack and some masking tape.

Whatever width [or diameter] size circle you want, you'll use half that measurement [the radius]. Measure out to the left of your machine's needle that much. Lay your thumbtack on its head [pointy end up], so the point is at the correct measurement, and tape it down.

Find the center of your fabric, and slip it onto the thumbtack. Smooth the fabric under your presser foot and won't even have to guide it. Just make sure the fabric stays on its pivot point, the thumbtack, by putting your finger on it.

I'd love to give credit to the clever person who thought of this, but I don't know who it was.

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BjP said...
Hey, I think this is a great tip. I've always tried to follow a marked line that I've made....not good. Thanks for the easy to follow directions! I will definitely try this next time I want a perfect circle!
10/31/04 10:32 AM
Stitchology said...
I think I've seen Nancy Zieman do this. Does the fabric feed OK without a hoop?
11/1/04 9:20 AM
bevaau said...
You will need to thoroughly stabilise your fabric for it to feed properly. I use freezer paper or starch heavily - any form of stabiliser according to the end use will do. It makes super decorative effects and is very easy. I have made coffe cup coasters by creating a decorative circle of fabric, placing a used CD between it and a backing layer and 'circle stitching' the layers together - just beyond the CD!!
11/1/04 3:09 PM
AnneM said...
Ok, stupid question: how do you tape the thumbtack down securely enough? Wouldn't you pull it off as you move the fabric?
11/1/04 4:00 PM
SewVeryTall said...'re welcome :) hoop needed, the fabric feeds just like it normally would, with the proper pressure of the presser foot. You certainly could use a hoop for smaller circles, but without one, you could put the thumbtack a foot away from your needle and sew a circle 2 feet wide.
bevaau...true, some fabrics would need to be stabilized, especially thin or stretchy fabric.
11/2/04 5:37 AM
SewVeryTall said...
AnneM...stick the thumbtack into the sticky side of the middle of a piece of tape that's a few inches long. Then put it in place. Another piece of tape on each side would help secure it even better. The fabric just rotates on this point, or guides the fabric. If you have your finger on the point [or say, use an eraser for comfort], so the fabric can't slip off the point, that will also help hold the thumbtack in place.
11/2/04 5:39 AM
Dinkalley said...
I'm glad you clarified about sticking the tack through the sticky side. I visualized taping the little teeny sides down. Duh!
11/2/04 8:22 AM
Astrostitcher said...
SewVeryTall, Thanks for the great tip! You just saved me from buying that circular gismo that goes on the foot and most certainly costs more than a thumbtack.
11/2/04 5:12 PM
SandraB said...
What a great idea. Thank you.
11/4/04 2:38 PM
noreend said...
It took me a bit to visualize, but can't wait to try it. Thanks!
11/15/04 8:39 AM
Muria said...
This is going to be great for my daughter's circular girl scout badges! I have a pile of them waiting to be sewn on because it's such a pain.
5/16/05 1:19 PM
Helen near Sydney said...
fabbo idea, thanks Sew Very Tall. PS. Always wonder, are you really very tall?
11/3/07 4:59 AM
jboom40 said...
great tip
9/3/10 3:38 AM
Loverabbits said...
Thanks for sharing! This is a great way to sew in circles...but how do you calculate and make sure that the end and the beginning of the embroidery match? Thanks.
11/6/10 2:33 AM
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