Friday, October 26, 2012

Adding seam allowance to homemade pattern pieces

Hey y'all, if you're not a sewer, you might want to just tune out now.  If you are a sewer, you probably already know about this tip.  But I was pretty impressed with myself for coming up with it, so just on the off chance there's someone out there who sews and who also doesn't know this here ya go.

So I took on a sewing challenge recently, making a stuffed toy which is not available for purchase anywhere but on Etsy, for which there is also no pattern available.

So I was piecing together a pattern from various sources, even drawing some pattern pieces myself when I couldn't find any anywhere else, and I ran into a little snag, so to speak.  I would draw the pattern pieces the size I wanted them to be, but then I didn't know how to add a seam allowance.  I mean, I could have just added a line half an inch from my pattern line, but that seemed too difficult, especially on curvy or zig-zaggy pieces and a bit iffy on whether I would end up with the exact size piece I wanted when I was done.  If you have this problem, too, read on...

So.  Draw your pattern piece.  Either cut it out, or don't cut it out--doesn't matter to me.

Pin it to your fabric,

and cut out, not on the line, but give yourself a good amount of extra fabric around the piece.

Sew on the pattern line. That's right: just sew right through the pattern and fabric and everything.

When you're done, the pattern will just tear right off.

Trim the piece close to the sewing line and turn right side out.

And that's it! You'll end up with a sewn piece exactly the size and shape you wanted.

Obviously, this isn't going to work if you're needing to sew two different sized pieces together, but if you need to sew two pieces that are the same size together, like for making a crown,

or a beak, or wings, or feet, try it--you'll save yourself a lot of grief!

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