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Tips & Techniques > Add a Seam Allowance

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Posted by: PVA

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Member since: 3/28/04
Reviews written: 29
Sewing skills:Intermediate
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Posted on: 4/27/06 0:09 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 13 people   
I read a post some time back with a tip about an easy way to add seam allowances to patterns without them. I tried it & it worked a lot easier than what I had been doing with ruler & pencil. They simply used a compass one uses for drawing circles. Insert the pencil & adjust the width for the 5/8" or whatever seam allowance you want. Bring the sharp point side down what would be the stitching line & the pencil will draw the cutting line.

This seemed to go a lot faster & easier for me.

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sjm said...
That's a very good idea! I usually use a tape measure by lying it next to the pinned out pattern and tracing around. I have found that my folded tape measure is exactly 1.5cm across and my retractable tape measure is exactly 1cm across. It works very well around curves too, as would your method.
4/27/06 6:24 AM
regine said...
Having used the double tracing wheel, I still find that it is the ideal way to add seam allowances.
4/27/06 7:17 AM
audsews said...
Two wooden pencils rubber-banded together are 1/4". Two Bic Round Stik pens rubber-banded together are the width of a Viking metal zigzag presser foot.
4/27/06 12:19 PM
countrybug said...
I have been using my hem guage at the amount that I want to add, put it up next to the cutting line and then add new line with chalk, but I will try this, sounds quick and easy. Thanks
4/28/06 10:17 AM
cindyann said...
Great tip! I've been using this method for a long time and it really is easy.
4/28/06 12:18 PM
Elaray said...
The best ideas are always so simple! It was really time consuming to use a ruler and measure all around. Then, I found my old Olfa rotary cutter with the adjustable arm; that was a little easier. I'm accustomed to having the seam allowance on the pattern piece. I can't wait to try this technique.
5/4/06 12:36 PM
Elaray said...
When I first read this tip, I thought it was a great idea. Now that I've had a chance to actually try it, I like it even more! I had a compass that uses a lead and not the whole pencil, so it took one or two attempts to find a comfortable way to hold the compass. I have to slow down a bit on tight curves, like armscyes. But for some reason, I like this technique more than using the rotary cutter with adjustable arm. I don't have to worry about spacing the pieces to leave room for seam allowances while pinning the pieces to the fabric. Thanks PVA!
5/26/06 6:28 AM
Karen4450 said...
What a fantastic idea!! Thanks for the tip.
3/22/10 5:30 PM
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