Have you seen there’s a new gadget out to help in adding seam allowances to patterns as you cut the fabric? I’d seen mentions of these a few places online, but I finally had a chance to try mine out last night as I cut out a quick knit top for myself.
You get two guides in the pack – green is for scissors with straight sides, and yellow is for scissors with angled blades, like my favourite vintage tailor’s shears. You just stick the guide onto the side of your scissors and adjust if necessary. They got the magnet exactly right on this – it’s strong enough that it doesn’t shift around when you’re using it, but weak enough that it’s easy to adjust or pull off when you’re done.
You also get two black rubber rings per guide, so you can set up two guide distances at the same time (or, err, just store the extra one on the end so you don’t lose it!!). I’ve got mine here at 5/8” for regular seam allowances, and 1” for hem allowances (though it’s also handy for cutting strips for bias binding or my new Coverpro binder attachment!)
I made the mistake first off by sticking the guide in the centre of the blades, but you actually want it quite close to the tip as I’ve done here, otherwise you’re “flying blind” until your cutting catches up with the guide! Once I got the hang of where to place it, it really was a piece of cake to use.
I’m often asked how I add seam allowances onto patterns, and the truth is, I usually just eyeball them when I cut out my fabric. When you’ve been working with magazine patterns for as long as I have, you can see 5/8” in your sleep, but for me the big win here with using the guide was accuracy! If you’re someone who tediously adds seam allowances onto your paper pattern with a ruler or double tracing wheel, or chalks out the allowances on fabric before you cut, this tool is going to be a major time saver.
It’s one of those great, simple inventions where you can’t help but say “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Oh, and if you’re confused by the oddly shaped pattern piece in the above photo, here’s a sneak preview in advance of this weekend’s photoshoot:
The makers of the seam allowance guide very kindly sent me extra sets, so I’ve got
one THREE! to giveaway to lucky FehrTrade readers! To be in the competition, please leave a comment below stating your favourite “no seam allowance included” pattern company! I’ll pick the winner this weekend (18 March), and I’ll ship anywhere in the world (it’s nice and lightweight to ship!).
UPDATE: This competition has been so popular, the makers have said there will be THREE sets to win now!! You’ve all just tripled your chances!
These seam allowance guides are available to buy at seamallowanceguide.com for AUS$15 each (that’s about £10 or US$15) with free worldwide shipping.
Full disclosure – I got my review copy sent for free, but my opinions are genuine. Believe me, I get offered a lot of free stuff for giveaways, but I only pass on the stuff I genuinely think my readers will enjoy and use, rather than just being advertised to! COUGHvintagedressshopspamCOUGH