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Message Board > Beginner's Forum > seam allowance- do I add it or subtract it? ( Moderated by EleanorSews)

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seam allowance- do I add it or subtract it?
when cutting out pattern pieces
dinag
dinag
Member since 5/16/11
Posts: 23
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Date: 10/1/13 12:42 PM

Hi everyone,

I am making a Petite Plus Patterns shirt. The seam allowance is 3/8 in unless otherwise specified on the pattern piece.

Does this mean the pattern piece edge is the garment edge and I should add 3/8 around the edge of my pattern pieces (that are not on a fold)?

OR

Should I measure in from the edge of my pattern pieces and use that new line as the garment edge with the edge of the pattern piece being the outer edge of the seam allowance?

Does this question even make sense?

I won't cut anything until I know for sure!

petro
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petro  Friend of PR
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Date: 10/1/13 1:06 PM

It sounds as though the seam allowance is included in the pattern, which means the pattern edge is the cutting line and the fitting line is inside that.

jewelsfashions

jewelsfashions
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In reply to dinag <<


Date: 10/1/13 1:22 PM

You don't say which pattern you are talking about. I believe there are some out there that don't have seam allowances built into the pattern but I can't remember which ones. But, the big 4 patterns I've used, like Vogue 7876, says and I'm quoting "lines shown are cutting lines, however, 5/8" seam allowances are included, unless otherwise indicated. see sewing information for seam allowance"
I have always took this to mean that I don't need to do anything with the lines on the pattern (unless I need to graduate the lines from one size to another if I'm one size on top to a different size at waist) cut it out and then take it to the sewing machine and line up the edge of the fabric to the 5/8" line on my sewing machine. So, from the edge of your fabric to the stitching line is 5/8".
Sometimes patterns will have you sew your 5/8" seams but then hem the dress up like 1 - 2" at the hem line and that will be indicated at the hem edge of your pattern. That would be where sometimes you see a different seam allowance mentioned. Maybe you could give the pattern number. I hope others respond. I have never sewn anything with a 3/8" seam so this is new to me.
edited to say I was glad to see Petro respond. I had this posting page up and digging through my stash of patterns and doing research before I hit post. Guess I was slow
-- Edited on 10/1/13 1:24 PM --

dinag
dinag
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Date: 10/1/13 1:34 PM

Oh fabulous- thanks so much for letting me know! So I stitch in from the edge. It says on the body and arm pieces the measurement for the hem, so I am assuming that is also included. I will plow full speed ahead.

Thanks!

andye
andye  Friend of PR
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thumbsup 1 member likes this.
Date: 10/1/13 1:40 PM

The exact wording is

"Important--Seam allowances for this pattern are 1 cm, (3/8 inch) unless otherwise indicated on the pattern piece"

If the designer had not included the seam allowance, it wouldn't be "important" to use a 3/8 allowance--the seam line (edge of the allowance free pattern piece) would be the critical bit.

Just remember that 3/8 inch is narrower than the 5/8" allowance used by most big four patterns.

------
Bernina B330
Feet: 1,2,3,3A,4,5,7,8,10,13,16,18,20, 29,32,35,37,50,64,70,71,82,85,86, 92

dinag
dinag
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Date: 10/1/13 3:08 PM

That makes so much sense! Thank you for pointing that out, andye. And no fear, I never used a pattern before so I won't get confused with the big four. :)

Quincunx
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Quincunx
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Date: 10/1/13 3:58 PM

Every new sewist should take a look at why you want to cut those lines away. It goes against the idea that the outlines are there to guide you, but honestly, it just makes sense.

Mostly it's the patterns that you trace out of pattern magazines that DON'T come with seam allowance attached. It's less of a pain there because one can trace and add the seam allowance at the same time. If I'm gonna be cutting, I want to only have to cut once.

cindyann
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cindyann  Friend of PR
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In reply to Quincunx <<


Date: 10/1/13 5:22 PM

Great link. It's a good reminder.

------



Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to Quincunx <<
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Date: 10/1/13 6:54 PM

Quote:
Every new sewist should take a look at why you want to cut those lines away. It goes against the idea that the outlines are there to guide you, but honestly, it just makes sense. Mostly it's the patterns that you trace out of pattern magazines that DON'T come with seam allowance attached. It's less of a pain there because one can trace and add the seam allowance at the same time. If I'm gonna be cutting, I want to only have to cut once.

I figured out that what you meant was that the outlines should be cut off when you're cutting out the pattern, but at first I thought you were telling a brand-newbie to cut off the seam allowances and redraw them. I'm glad that's not what you meant. I'm only posting this in case the original poster or some other newbie got confused.

I see what you mean about the outer lines, but I'm still cutting out ON the lines after all these years. (Well, I trace the patterns and then cut on the lines.) I guess by doing this I'm giving myself an extra hair of ease, which I need. I also don't sew to industry-precision standards, and I'm not sure a person cutting out her very first pattern needs to be thinking about this right now either.

------
my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Photo: A long time ago

dinag
dinag
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Date: 10/2/13 2:42 AM

Thanks for your replies. I read that article on marking and cutting. I think it is something for me to keep in mind, while at the same time not letting details keep me from going through all the remaining steps.

Once I have some actual experience, I will probably appreciate much more what you are saying :)

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