Sewing Tip Tuesday: What is a seam allowance used for? #DollBlogger @ChellyWood1 @ ChellyWood.com

This image is part of a blog post that answers the question: "What is seam allowance used for?" The blog post is found at ChellyWood.com and you can use the search tool to locate that blog post. The image shows a tape measure superimposed over tweed fabric with a button sewn on it.
Image purchased from iClipart. All rights reserved. Visit ChellyWood.com to find the blog post that answers the question, “What is seam allowance used for?”

A seam allowance is a bit of extra room that’s given along the edge of a pattern, to allow for the sewist to include seams in a garment and still have it fit the doll properly.

Think of it like this… When you’re driving a car, there’s a curb (spelled kerb in some countries) that gives you a little extra sway room at the sides of the roadway.

Here’s the car you’re driving as a sewist:

Today's blog post answers the question: "What is the standard seam allowance for sewing doll clothes?" This image is part of the blog post found at ChellyWood.com (a website with free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes)
Image purchased from iClipart (all rights reserved)

And this is the road you’re driving on:

Image purchased from iClipart. All rights reserved.

This curb is called a “seam allowance” in sewing terms, and it gives you a little extra sway room for sewing fabric pieces together.

Now let’s address the question more directly… What is a seam allowance used for?

It’s used to keep the car from going off the road into the nearby field. In other words, it’s designed to give extra fabric at the joining parts of a garment, like you see here:

This image shows an unfinished bodice sewing project for 18 inch doll clothes. The bodice has both front pieces sewn to the back piece across the shoulder seam. The blog post that accompanies this image on ChellyWood.com answers the question, "What is a seam allowance used for?"
Please visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.

It’s nearly impossible to join the bodice fronts in the image above with the bodice back, without having a little extra fabric that hangs in between the two joined pieces. See the close-up of the joined area (i.e. the seam) in the image below:

Visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes that fit dolls of many shapes and sizes. This image is used in a blog post that answers the question, "What is a seam allowance used for?" The image shows the seam at the shoulder of a doll's shirt from the underside of the garment.
Visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes that fit dolls of many shapes and sizes.

That V-shaped flap of fabric where the front and back pieces are sewn together is a bit of extra fabric that is represented on your pattern as a seam allowance.

So as you can see, the seam allowance gives you room to “drive” your sewing machine needle and foot across the fabric where the two pieces join.

The image shows the Chelly Wood doll from ChellyWood.com holding up a garment and displaying a red seam on white fabric as she sits at her 1:6 scale sewing machine to make doll clothes. Please visit ChellyWood.com for your free printable PDF sewing patterns and tutorials that show you how to make doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and all different sizes.
Visit ChellyWood.com for free printable sewing patterns for making doll clothes to fit dolls of many shapes and sizes.

And that’s what a seam allowance is used for, in a nutshell.

Do you enjoy my tutorials and free sewing patterns? Please share them!

Are you new to sewing? I’ve got a playlist of tutorials for the beginning sewists on my YouTube channel. It includes video tutorials showing you how to do a basic straight stitch when sewing by hand, how to use the whipstitch to hem a garment, and how to sew on snaps.

If your question wasn’t answered here, feel free to submit a question. I’m always happy to help my followers find what they need, so they, too, can make amazing doll clothes and crafts.

This blog post is dedicated to my 7th grade math teacher and all mathematics teachers around the world. Thank you for teaching the world how to measure things!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.