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Tips & Techniques > Adding wide seam allowances

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Posted by: ryansmumAria

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Member since: 7/29/05
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Posted on: 10/2/08 0:54 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 12 people   
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This tip is from Sandra Betzina and I teach it in my fitting class. When making a pattern for the first time, increase SIDE seams by an additional inch. Remember to add this to the sleeves seam as well.
On tops, after sewing up shoulder seams, pin baste side seams. make needed adjustments then sew (machine baste) and try on again. If it is a good fit, then permanently stitch. Remember to constantly fit-as-you-sew. This is the only way to get perfect fitting clothes. MANY, MANY students sew awaywithout a single fitting and then are shocked that the garment does not fit.
That is a waste of precious time. Proper fitting saves time and money. Best if you have a sewing buddy that can help you though. You can still fit yourself but it's more of a challenge. I fit myself and struggle...

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ryansmumAria said... (10/5/08 11:56 PM) Reply
dr. liz, I don't mark the original seam line. I pin baste after I sew up shoulder if it's a top. Then I machine baste, fit again, do any more needed adjustments then I stitch a permanent seam. I get a great fit by doing all those steps. They seem to take alot of time but I have far more success and almost no "toss-outs". Many times I do not use the additional inch I have added but the few times I have, I have been grateful for having the extra width. I always make a "test out" of each new garment but many of my students won't so for those who don't, this is added insurance. I emphasize this with them and more often than not , this has saved their garment. Often students don't chose the correct size to begin with and want to squeeze into a much smaller size. They just can't handle the difference in sizing as those numbers are SO much larger that RTW.
dr. liz said... (10/4/08 2:13 PM) Reply
Ryansmum, do you mark your original seamline in when cutting?
dr. liz said... (10/4/08 11:01 AM) Reply
Ryansmum, do you mark your original seamline in when cutting?
ryansmumAria said... (10/4/08 8:29 AM) Reply
MiriamK, I teach at El Monte/Rosemead Adult School. I teach pattern alterations /fitting and Intermediate sewing. I use to work in the Los Angeles garment industry before that.
Sewnla said... (10/3/08 7:18 PM) Reply
Thanks for the tip. I am going to try this. Where do you teach?
Winifred said... (10/2/08 4:55 PM) Reply
Excellent tip - the only way to get good fit as I've found since taking up this suggestion. I used to take the tiniest s/a to save fabric but ended up with many wadders !
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