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Dec 16, 2008

So You Want to Sew?: zig zag a box with SQUARED corners

Hi everyone! I am back with the third installment of my "So You Want to Sew" series. :)

Today I will be showing you how to zig zag stitch 2 pieces of card stock together and have squared corners like this:
I cut 2 pieces of dark card stock so my white stitches would show will. :) I adhered them together with a big of mono adhesive in the center of the panels. Try to avoid using adhesive where your stitches will go.

You need to line up the point on your card stock where the 2 pieces meet here, where the green arrow is pointing. This is the area where the slit is in the presser foot. This will be your best friend when you are stitching with the zig zags. It helps you keep your paper oriented and helps keep your stitches STRAIGHT.

Here is my paper all lined up and ready to start stitching. Start as close to the edge of the inner piece of card stock as you can (in this case, the navy card stock).

I will be using the G zig zag stitch, which is my most frequently used zig zag.

Begin sewing making sure that you keep the card stock centered with the presser foot.

When sewing with a zig zag stitch, your needle goes left... right... left... right... left... right... LOL Don't WATCH it to that though, you'll get crooked stitches. LOL I am *almost* to the edge of my navy card stock here. When I get close to the edge of the paper, I stop using the foot pedal and instead turn the knob on the right hand side of the machine TOWARD me until I think I am in the right spot. I ALWAYS stop when the needle is to the RIGHT. By turning the know toward the end, you will be able to see if the needle is on the right or left. Again, make sure it is on the RIGHT.

I felt like I was in the correct place to turn my card stock at that point. I lifted the presser foot using the little handle and turned my card stock 90 degrees to start sewing on the next side. BUT LOOK... when I turned my card stock, my seam wasn't centered with the slit of the presser foot. STOP! Life your presser foot and turn your card stock back where it was (even with your line of stitches).

Now turn the knob on the right of your machine TOWARD YOU until the needle goes one more time to the left and then one more time to the right. You are now back on the right side. Life your foot presser with the handle and turn your card stock 90 degrees again.

Oh GOODY! Look, it's in the correct position now. The seam of the 2 pieces of card stock is centered with the presser foot. It is *slightly* to the left, but as SOON as you start stitching, move your paper *very slightly* to the right so it is completely centered. Now, stitch the rest of the sides of the card stock the exact same way.

When you get to point of your card stock where the sewing will begin overlapping, simply stitch using the knob on the right hand side until your last row of stitching overlaps your first area of stitching and it creates the same corner. DO NOT "back stitch" like you would on fabric. Now, follow the instructions for pulling the thread through to the back and tape it down with scotch tape. This will give you a finished look with perfectly squared corners.

Like this: (straight stitches make me happy!)

Here is the finished piece. Try to ignore the slightly sticking up thread tail on the upper left hand corner. I played a game of "find the thread tail", but I LOST. LOL I finally gave up and snipped it off. Occasionally when that happens, just make sure you stick a brad in all corners to cover the "mistake". Remember, thread tails sticking up is NOT cute. LOL You must cover them up. If you make a mistake anywhere, disguise it with brads, crystals or any embellishment. What you can't see... isn't there! LOL
Thanks for visiting today and I hope you found the tutorial helpful. The next installment will be coming soon and will show you another variation on sewing a zig zag box with different corners. :) Stay tuned for the next installment, coming tomorrow!
Have a wonderful day!
If you are inspired to sew on your paper creations, please leave me a link so I can check it out. :)


  1. These tutorials are FANTASTIC, Jody! I'm learning soooooo much. Thanks, pal o' mine! (BTW, I'll give you a call later today! :) )

  2. You are da'bomb! EXCELLENT! I'm rushing around here finishing my bookkeeping job so I can get a few minutes with my sewing machine. Thanks for all the details!

  3. W-O-W!!! PLEASE do NOT look too closely at my stitching! I've busted every single one of your rules!!! (And I might have to re-do something I'm mailing this week....eek! lol)

  4. Thanks so much, Jody, for this tutorial. Very helpful! I have just one question re: the corner that has a snippet of thread showing. You mentioned adding an embellishment such as a brad. Do you mean the kind that goes through the cardstock and has little tabs to spread apart on the back? If so, how do you pierce through to insert the brad, without damaging the stitching?

  5. Not only does your paper look great but you have done a great job explaining it! I will give it a try soon.

  6. Fantastic tutorial! Thanks for sharing all these great details. :O)

  7. I can't tell you how very helpful these tutorials are, Jody! I just got the Janome mini a few days ago (a late Christmas present), and I would have been totally stuck without you. Thank you so much for putting so much time and effort into helping your stampin' sistahs out. I really appreciate it!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate you reading my blog.

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