Review · Sewing

Seam Allowance Guide: A Review


Two reviews in just as many days – what is this blog coming to?! (Don’t answer that question!) Hollie, the inventor of the Seam Allowance Guide, is someone I’ve admired for quite a while. She wanted a quick and easy way to add seam allowances to patterns, so she invented her own gadget that would solve her needs. She then set about to patent it, produce it, and market it to the sewing community. How can you not admire that ingenuity and drive?

Hollie wrote me the other week to ask if I’d review her Seam Allowance Guide on my blog. Why yes I would, thank you very much. I’ve been using a lot of seam allowance-less BurdaStyle patterns lately, and while I enjoy the tracing-the-stitching-line-directly-on-the-fabric-and-then-cutting-any-size-seam-allowances-I-want method that I picked up while taking Gertie’s bombshell dress Craftsy class, it didn’t work that well for the lighter colored lining I used in my peplum dress. My little blue tracing marks (the lightest color wax tracing paper I have that would show up on the ivory silk crepe de chine) were quite apparent, especially in the skirt since I remembered a bit late in the game to sew the side seams just a bit outside the stitching line and to convert the darts to tucks to allow for extra ease in the skirt’s lining. I thought the little blue dots might iron out the way the white ones do, but, no, they persisted despite my best efforts.

I didn’t want the same to happen when I cut into the silk charmeuse for the drop-waist dress I’m currently making, particularly since the offending wax marks would be on the outside of the garment, and the seam allowance guide seemed like a great solution. It was. The guides come in sets of two – a green one for flat scissors and a yellow one that’s slightly tilted for scissors with subtly angled blades. My Gingher micro-serrated shears fit the yellow guide perfectly. And, after pinning my pattern to my silk charmeuse carefully with fine silk pins, I cut away. Before I knew it, my least favorite sewing step was finished. Thanks Hollie!

If you’re interested in getting a pair of Seam Allowance Guides for yourself, don’t hesitate for fear of outrageous shipping costs; Hollie provides free shipping anywhere in the world. Or, if you’ve already tried them, let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Now, to get back to sewing. Louisa is feeling a bit drafty without her skirt attached.

11 thoughts on “Seam Allowance Guide: A Review

  1. It’s such a simple solution, isn’t it? I’ve become a bit of a fan of not having seam allowances in my patterns. If I need to grade up, it’s easier to understand where the seam line is precisely suppose to be. Still, I can see how there are situations like yours above where marking that line really won’t work well.

    1. I guess another solution could have been to hand baste the stitching lines without making any marks first… Though that doesn’t meet Hollie’s need for speed!

  2. what a clever invention! i usually just use my little seam guide ruler to mark at a few spots with pins and then eyeball it, but that’s probably not too accurate!!

  3. i purchased that seam allowance guide a while back and I love it! i used to spend so much time adding the allowane on my burda patterns! But not anymore, it’s such a great time saving tool…

  4. I think this is such a genius idea. I ALWAYS forget to add seam allowances when sewing Burda. Almost always. I usually remember when I’m partway in or afterwards when whatever I’ve made is too small. I’ve had major mishaps, but mostly it’s been knit things, so not a huge deal.

  5. What a clever invention since I find that I often don’t leave enough of an allowence when I cut patterns and especially when I use Burda patterns!!

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