Construction Tip: Trimming Seam Allowances

Untitled 21 Construction Tip: Trimming Seam Allowances

It’s the little things in life that matter and it’s the little things in sewing that make a difference.

When I wasn’t sewing lingerie, which has consumed my life as of late, this tip would have been handy. Scratch that. Even when sewing lingerie, this tip is handy. After sewing a seam and pressing it open, I used to arbitrarily trim (or grade) one seam allowance (to reduce bulk). There was no rhyme or reason to which one I cut – I chose based on  easiness, which usually depended on what side of the ironing board (and sometimes floor) I was on. But trimming shouldn’t be done mindlessly – there should be reason to it – and the reasoning goes… the stitched edge will fall toward the seam allowance that has been trimmed closest to the stitching. So, if you want the collar to roll slightly to the inside (in other words – you want the top collar to roll to the under collar), trim the under collar seam allowance.

 

tags: Construction Comments: 21

21 Comments
  1. Clare Mountain

    That’s such a great tip! I have never heard that anywhere before. Definitely remembering that one. Maddie, you are a wealth of information!

    Reply
  2. lisa g

    oooh this is a great tip! i too graded without rhyme or reason!

    Reply
  3. sallieforrer

    No Way!!! I had no idea thats how it works! I just thought it was so the longer one protected the shorter one from showing through on the outside…I realize that makes very little sense, but thats what I thought! You’re a genius Maddie!

    Reply
    • Jo

      This is what I thought too. I guess it’s both reasons really! Very interesting tip! :)

      Reply
  4. Starryfishathome

    Yes, that makes a lot of sense. I should grade more, I’ve not been doing it out of laziness. As one of my resolutions for this year was to improve my finishing I must start grading regularly.

    Reply
    • Maddie964

      it doesn’t seam like it but grading makes a HUGE difference, at least in my opinion

      Reply
  5. Angela

    Wow this tip makes perfect sense! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Maddie964

  6. anto

    wow, consider my eyes opened. I had never though of this but It totally makes sense! what a great tip Maddie!

    Reply
  7. Meg the Grand

    This is so helpful! I used to arbitrarily trim because I didn’t know any differently but this makes so much sense!

    Reply
  8. acbrown28

    Awesome. I love little factoids like this. Doesn’t serging with a particular side face up also make the serged seam fall a certain way? Shows what I know.

    Reply
    • Maddie964

      Serging with a particular side face side up? Can you explain more? This might be a factoid I don’t know about!

      Reply
      • acbrown28

        Ah, I found it! It’s in my “Ready, Set, Serge” book I got for Christmas last year: “A serged seam tends to fold naturally to the lower looper side… The fabric that is on the bottom or next to the throat plate is the fabric that will be on the lower looper side. Since the seam tends to fold in this direction, your seams will press easier to the fabric next to the throat plate.”

        Reply
  9. sophie o.

    Wonderful! I never thought it would make any difference!

    Reply
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