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Seam Allowances In Knits
Looking for input regarding 1/4" vs. 5/8" seams in knits
tildatoo
tildatoo  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/4/12 9:10 AM

I'm curious as to what seam allowances most sewists prefer when sewing knits. When I'm serging, I prefer 1/4" seam allowances, but realize that this isn't universal among the different pattern companies.

SunnyAlta
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Date: 10/4/12 10:49 AM

1/4" allowance on knits when I know the fit is fine.

mastdenman
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Date: 10/4/12 11:30 AM

I always use 5/8" seam allowances. I usually use a roller cutter when cutting out knits, and sometimes the seams can end up being a bit wobbly. Also because I serge all of my knits, the seam uptake is usually 3/8" I believe and the 1/4" is a little too thin. The larger seam allowance lets me serge off a little and makes up for wobbly cutting out.

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Marilyn

January 2009 to January 2010 81 yards out and 71yards in January 2010 to the present 106.7 yards out and 146.5 yards in. January 2011 to the present: 47 yards out and 69 yards in.

Judy Kski
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In reply to tildatoo <<
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Date: 10/4/12 1:10 PM

I use 1/4" seams because that is the standard for Kwik Sew and Stretch & Sew patterns. I can adjust my serger for a perfect 1/4" seam so why cut it out at 5/8" and chop the extra off?

As I start to make more than just T-shirt style tops, I'm finding other pattern companies that use 3/8" (Silhouette Patterns) or 5/8" seam allowances (the Big 4) which allows for fitting. This can be a plus if it's a pattern I'm making for the first time.

I've seen just about every seam allowance in all the pattern companies out there. As the seamstress, you can decide what works best to give you the finished look that you want.

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Judy

Nancy K
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Date: 10/4/12 2:34 PM

I usually use a 3/8" sas on all non fitting seams ie neck, sleevecap or enclosed seams. I hate 1/4" especially if the fabric rolls. I prefer 1" or wider sas in fitting seams then I serge it down.

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www.nancyksews.blogspot.com

beauturbo
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Date: 10/4/12 2:56 PM

I use or would cut fabric 5/8 just for me, like all just on most normal big four pattern companies patterns, because I am decades into being used to having a 5/8 inch seam allowance on something I cut, and got that memorized, and can even draw 5/8 with a pencil accurate, just by eyeballing anything, any old time.

However if I was using a Kwick Sew pattern that had it at 1/4 inch there, then I would probably just cut at that instead, and go with it, rather than redraw all my seam allowances there on that paper at all.

I realize that when you actually sew the cut out fabric, just depending on the fabric and how it fits you, and what part of a garment it ends up being, you might want to take a larger seam allowance or a smaller one. Also your final seam allowance, is just whatever you have on the right, that you choose to not cut off with some sissors later or the blade of a overlocker. That is changeable any old time, by just what you do, as long as you have enough fabric left there to make that choice. I actually don't worry about having only a 1/4 inch seam allowance if serging at all, just because my serger has knives, and would cut fabric at any distance from a needle drop, just what ever I tell it to do instead. I also always get a better overlocked overlocker edge if I let my serger knives trim off some fabric right before I get to it, instead of trying to overlock over a previous cut edge and have nothing going through my knives there.

But I don't think it really matters 1/4 or 5/8 inch cutting, just at the cutting stage, Waht ever you like instead and works for you, as long as you remember what you did when you cut your fabric there.from any pattern. I don't like to cut at the fabric cutting stage, a whole bunch of garment seam allowances, all different from some others, just depending on what part of a garment they are on, than others, and different for each garment, like that, just because then when actually in the "flow" of sewing something, then I need to stop and really think a lot more, or I might even forget what I had done there.

I realize some big factory someplace may do that, for different sections of a garment, in it's construction, but I'm not a factory at all. I'm just a single person making only one garment from each pattern at a time, most of the time. They would be sewing the same exact thing, many mulitple times, all in a row, and assembly line style and getting paid for it too, so they are not going to forget they cut one thing one way and some other garment part another way, but I probably would. Also every little tiny bit of fabric they save, is multiplied hundreds of times by them, and lets them get more garment pieces out of less fabric, but it really won't work that same way at all for me, if I'm just making one of something. Any fabric saving there, would be so small for me, it would not count at all.

Marie367
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In reply to tildatoo <<


Date: 10/5/12 4:35 PM

I go with what the manufacturer says to use. I too have used Big 4 patterns forever (well a very long time anyway!) and their seam allowance is always 5/8". I can eyeball that and get it pretty close to perfect just because. Now I have started sewing knits and using Jalie and KwikSew patterns-both of those companies use 1/4" and I find that I like that. For new patterns, I sew seams on the sm first to work out fit. For the TNT patterns, I just serge.

sewsally
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Date: 10/8/12 2:20 PM

I like 3/8" if I use my serger because its an easy alignment.

For the side seams I have started using 5/8" to allow for fitting adjustments due to differences in knits. Also increase the seam on the sleeve if you do this.

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