Monday, October 19, 2009

My first blog!

I am finally out in the blogoshere! Today, I am going to share my seam allowance survey. I looked through my stash and emailed a few companies to see what seam allowances they use. Part of the reason I did this survey, was to ponder and validate what I like to use as seam allowances. I am not sure any validating was going on, since it seams all pattern companies have their various reasons for using what they use. I personally love a 3/8th inch seam allowance; mainly because I have a serger and I do not need to do french seams. I guess if I wanted to do french seams, I would just get out one of those skinny quilting press bars and add the 1/4. Most people who use the european pattern magazines, such as BWOF, Ottobre, and Patrones have to ponder at some point which seam allowance length floats their balloon. My take is you probably want to have a little extra seam allowance room on all of the pattern lines that end up perpendicular to the floor (side seams) if you do not plan on doing a muslin and want to do some adjusting as you sew. However, I just find that my accuracy greatly improves if I am not battling all that rumply material (esp. on curves) to the right of the needle that you get with a 5/8 seam allowance. Small areas like collars and pocket edges seam to behave better with just a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Since 3/8ths is just a smidge larger and you do not have to think as much when you get to the machine. A standard wide serger stitch is 1/4" wide. The 3/8th" allows you to cut off the ugly edges a little. The 5 thread safety stitch ( I heart this) is exactly 3/8th" wide and presses so nicely to the side.

Drum roll for the survey.......

I’ll start with all of those that I found that predominantly use the 5/8″ sa. They are: Burda, Butterick, Christine Jonson, Cutting Line, Kwik Sew (some wovens), La Fred, LJ Designs, McCalls, Park Bench, Purrfection (Dana Marie), Saf-T-Pockets, Simplicity, and Vogue. I will add more as I find them. My personal favorite seam allowance is the 3/8” sa. They are: Hot Patterns, Jalie, Lingerie Secrets, Lois Hinse, Onion, Silouette, and Textile Studios. Next are the 1/2” sa pattern companies: Birch Street, Favorite Things, Folkwear, Grainline Gear, and Revisions. The companies that use the 1/4” seam allowances are mostly for knits (of course). They are: Ann Person, Kwik Sew (knits and some wovens), and Pamela’s Patterns. The add your own seam allowance companies are BWOF, Ottobre, Knip Mode, Patrones, Neue Mode and et cetera....


  1. Interesting post. I think 3/8'' is more professional and easier to sew, But there is a lot to say on this topic. For more information I suggest you read this if you still have not.
    Thanks for your nice comments on Pattern Review.

  2. Sorry I forgot the link on SA

  3. Thanks Marie-Noelle! I wish I had seen that article when I was going on my seam allowance survey. There is not much I disagree with on Fashion Incubator. About a year ago, I wanted to make adding SA easier to trace on the European pattern companies. I decided that I wanted a long french curved ruler that was exactly 3/8th inch wide for this purpose. I will not go into the great lengths I have gone through to get such a ruler created. As of this Monday, I have shipped 50 of my rulers to Clotilde and I have them on my Etsy store. If they get popular, I may have them made in additional widths. I used a demo for about 6 months before I actually had them made. (pricing was ugly) Anyway, I find it super handy.