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Sew a straight edge to a curve

finished one side of the gusset

Have difficulty sewing the plushie head gusset? Does the left look different from the right? Frustrated from matching the straight to the curved seam?

I used to only enjoy making human plushies. Partly because I seem to see my own reflection better in it, partly because I tremble at the thought of sewing the 3-piece construction of the stuffed animal head.

This type of construction is quite common, often seen in plushies with a long snout, like deers, and bears, less so on cats, and… humans.

An alternative to adding curvature to the face would be to slice the pattern down in the middle. But that’s not very nice, it’s hard to hide that big scar.

Anyway I assume you know what a head gusset is, and I’m not dealing with the pattern making in this post.

Let’s get right on to sewing it

First, get ready the first 2 pieces you will be attaching. Find the snout end of both pieces.

take the tip of the nose of the head piece

Check that the length of the seam to be sewn matches.

match to the tip of the head gusset piece which is usually the narrow strip

Then, place the curved piece, usually the 2 sides of the face, onto your machine, with the snout pointing away from you.place the head piece in this direction on the sewing machine

Then, get ready the head gusset, usually the narrow piece with straighter curve.


find the tip of the gusset, careful not to confuse the centre front with the centre back

Align the 2 pieces, just by the beginning point. Ignore the rest of the curves, so it’s gonna like this below, without pins and all.

align the plushie head gusset with the head piece

Then, start sewing with a short stitch length ( I use 2 for a small 10″ doll like this) to stitch very slowly along the short length that is matched.

set a short stitch length for the narrow turns

As you stitch, hold the gusset piece that is sitting on top to match the bottom face piece. Basically, you are using the machine needle as your third hand to help to hold the curves in place, without pins!

reshape the gusset piece to flow with the face curve

Continue at a snail’s pace to finish the seam.

And there you have it, joining 2 seams of different curvature.

finished one side of the gusset

With a gusset shape like this, you get a bear with a slightly protruding snout and a wide forehead, while shifting the offensive seam off-centre.

bess bear softie with curled eyelashes bess bear plush doll cute face with big kawaii eyes


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