Have you ever had to turn anything right side out? This has always been something that I have not really enjoyed. It seems that the piece that I'm working with doesn't necessarily want to cooperate with me and often times the opening gets stretched out. I often end up creating a small hole when trying to get the corners nice and sharp. Don't dismay! I have learned a new technique. I hope you will find the tips below useful for a more pleasant turning experience.
Trim It - Before turning the project right sides out, nip off the seam allowance at a 45 degree angle. Be careful to not clip any stitches of your seam. This will reduce the amount of bulk in the corner's tip.
Don't Stretch It - Turning the opening down around the outside of the project and working it to the bottom of the piece causes the opening to stretch out of shape. Instead, push in the corners, opposite of the opening, toward the center inside the project. Then "squish" a corner up so it pokes out of the opening. Now you can grab the corner fabric and gently pull it out of the opening. This eliminates the need to stretch the small opening around a larger project. This is my absolute favorite technique for turning!
Don't Pick It - I was taught to use my seam ripper to "pick" out the corners to make them sharp. Need I say "bad idea"? It never fails, this is a sure way to pull out the threads of the fabric and will give you fuzzy corners.
Don't Poke It - OK, this is not what your scissors are for (I know we have all done it). You should use a tool with a pointed end that is small enough to fit into the corner but blunt so it will not poke through. There is a new tool that I am in love with! It is the "Precision Turning Tool" from RNK (the makers of Floriani products). This tool is weighted well and feels so nice in your hand. It has a balled tip that helps you smooth out the project's seams and gently push out the corners without pushing through. It is fantastic!!
Close It - There are three different methods that I use for closing the opening. The first two of these require stitching. Instead of using pins to hold the opening closed I prefer to use a narrow water soluble double sided tape like "Stitch Perfection Tape" from RNK.
Hand Stitch - In a rare case, I may need to have the opening disappear. This means hand stitching may be necessary. Unfortunate, I know! Machine Stitch - When closing with the machine (as in the bottom of a bag), I like to use a narrow zig zag. First, fold the lining so that the lining is wrong sides together and the folded edges of the opening match. now place the edge so it is aligned with the middle of the foot and stitch. The left stitch of the zigzag will be in the edge fold and the right stitch will be off of the fabric edge completely. Using a matching thread, this method should not be noticeable at all. Fuse It - This is my favorite :) Use a narrow strip of a fusible product to secure the opening closed. This is perfect for small areas or places that will not get a lot of wear.