buttercream mums help?!
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What consistency is your icing? I use a medium consistency icing. Also I had to experiment with how much pressure I applied to the bag. As for the ragged edges, I get them occasionally and I've found that while you are waiting on the icing to harden you can GENTLY touch the edges with your fingers and smooth them out.
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Ragged edges are typical..........so you're not doing anything "wrong".....just have to fix them. I haven't solved that myself, so I can't tell you a better way, sorry.
Sometimes it's just a bad tip that's too tight (which sounds like what your saying). Your better just buying a couple more tips to find one that's better/more open.
I have found that the butter cream recipe for piping that The Cake Girls posted on their new website works really great for piping flowers. They dissolve the xxxsugar before adding the fat so there's never a small clump clogging your tip.