The Busy Bean

How To: Sew Easy Inset Circles

Here’s how I sew easy inset circles using freezer paper and glue.

1. Draw a circle onto your freezer paper. Or three if you draw the wrong size. Twice. Not that I would do that. Cut out the circle, leaving the exterior intact.

Inset Circles Tutorial

2. Lay this over the fabric you want in your circle, just to make sure that you’ve cut the circle the correct size. You want to have at least 1/4″ behind the circle for your seam allowance.

Inset Circles Tutorial

3. Place the shiny side of the freezer paper on the wrong side of your background fabric where you want your circle. Iron this in place. Make sure the shiny side is down, or you’ll have a messy iron. Ask me how I know…

Inset Circles Tutorial

4. Leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance, cut out the inside of your background fabric circle. Cut into the seam allowance every 1/4″ or so, being careful to stay about 1/8″ away from the freezer paper.

Inset Circles Tutorial

5. Now iron that seam allowance back over the freezer paper. I like to use that groove between the soleplate and the body of the iron to just kind of pick up the little notches and push them back.

Inset Circles Tutorial

6. Grab  your glue stick РI like the lapel stick because it washes out so easily Рand run it over all those little notches, on the right side of the fabric.

Inset Circles Tutorial

7. Center your circle fabric over the hole and press down all around those edges. Make sure it’s stuck, then gently lift it up and pull the freezer paper off.

Inset Circles Tutorial

8. Now turn the whole thing right side up, pull back the background fabric, and start stitching along the crease you ironed into the fabric.

Inset Circles Tutorial

9. Did you need a closer look at that? Stitch right on that line.

Inset Circles Tutorial

10. Trim away the excess fabric from the back.

Inset Circles Tutorial

11. Press it again from the front, and just like that, an easy inset circle!

Inset Circles Tutorial

It might seem a little awkward the first time or two you try it, but soon enough it’s going to come as second nature.

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14 Thoughts on “How To: Sew Easy Inset Circles

  1. This is great – very nice explanation for what looks like it could be a tricky technique. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: Sew Easy Inset Circles | Craft Ideas - Craft Ideas Weekly

  3. What a great, clear tutorial. I love your inset piece too. It’s amazing.

  4. Pingback: Sew Easy Inset Circles « Crafts – Craft Ideas

  5. Love it, thank you – so easy!

  6. Pingback: The Busy Bean · How To: Somerset Star

  7. This is a great tutorial, one to pin and come back to!

  8. Lynne Clewell on March 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm said:

    I found this the easiest tutorial I have ever read. Can’t wait to do this pillow and impress my family and friends. Thanks

  9. Janis Doucette on April 19, 2013 at 6:32 pm said:

    Thank you! You’ve saved my day! First I followed another tute and it came out all puckered. Then I found this one and it came out almost perfectly!

  10. Pingback: Somerset Star Pillow | andpins

  11. BETTY on July 23, 2014 at 7:53 pm said:

    Great tutorial… will try it idea for me….. bookmarked it

  12. This tutorial is just what I needed. I gave it a try, and loved the results. I’ve been wanting to make a quilt with circles without raw edges, but some of the methods are so difficult and cumbersome. Thank You!!

  13. KARMELE LEGAZPIA on June 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm said:

    I’ts a great tutorial… With very clear instructions and easy to understand and follow.

    It may even be enough to follow the images

  14. Kate Malatt on November 11, 2017 at 6:26 am said:

    Thank you for the great pictures. I’m pressing the other way after sewing as I want the circles to pop up. How did you quilt and how did the quilt wash and wear, I am thinking the few threads of seam allowance might not be enough, should I zig zag quilt to reinforce?

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