Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tidbit Tuesday #44 - Seam Allowance

Hello Friends!! 

So if you have been a follower of mine for a while, you know I used to do a Tidbit Tuesday every Tuesday, or close to every one anyway. :)  After taking a blogging hiatus and then coming back, I haven't done one for a while.  

On that note, I thought I would bring back my tidbits! Yay!  Granted, these probably will not be every Tuesday but you will see them every now and again.  

Just like before, if you have your own tidbit you'd like to share, please send me an email at karrielyne at gmail dot com and I will try and post your tip on my blog.  Be sure that if you have your own blog, link to it in the email so I can link the tip back to you! 

Today my tip is about accurate seam allowances.  If you are a veteran sewist, you already know how important this seam accuracy is and you still may find this tip helpful so don't turn the page just yet. *wink*  If you are new to sewing then if you haven't perfected this 1/4" seam allowance, this may be just what you need!! 

I've tried a lot of methods but this is my favorite by far.  It does utilize a tool that you have to purchase but after the results I've had, I'd buy it 20 times over again.  Oh, this entire post is my personal opinion.  I was not asked to do this post, nor was I paid to do it.  I purchased the tool with my very own money! Yah! 

By chance I saw a post in Instagram by someone I follow.   Her name is Nydia and she blogs  at The ADD Crafter. She was using a tool called Ideal Seam Gauge.  It immediately caught my attention and that day I ordered it.   You can find them at Sew Very Smooth

Let me tell you a bit about it... 

This tool is made of a hard plastic so it is durable.  It's not a flimsy piece of plastic or paper that can be ruined over time. Huge plus for me.  Also you will notice that it has multiple sizes so it's great for other sewing needs besides quilting! How cool is that? 

The best part, it not only has a 1/4" seam guide, but it has the SCANT 1/4" seam guide! This is the one I use with my machine.  I most always use cotton quilting fabric and I use Aurifil thread so when I sew my seams, my seams come out "ideal".

Once you choose the allowance you want, or want to test out, lift your presser foot and slide the tool underneath.  Using the hand crank on  your machine, slowly lower your needed so that the needle drops into the hole for the seam width you are aiming for.  Once you have the needled dropped in the hole, lower your presser foot so it stabilizes the tool. Use lines on your machine or on your presser foot to ensure the tool is squared up (use a ruler if necessary) and then add your seam guide. 

Here is a close up of how I lined up my presser foot with the purple markings on the tool to ensure it was square. 

Once you are all square up, add your seam guide.  I used a magnetic one from Dritz.  

WARNING:: Do NOT use a magnetic seam guide if you have computerized mechanisms below the needle plate!! This will ruin the computer.  For most machines this is safe to use because the computerized parts are not under the needle plate, but if you are not sure, contact your machines customer service to see if it is safe to use.  

I have a Juki 2010Q, so if you have one of those, you are safe! 

Don't wan't to use a magnetic seam guide?  No problem!! You can use other marking tools like washi tape (pretty tape that resembles masking tape, only prettier) or post it notes.  Some machines also have seam guides you can screw into your machine.  

Now you are ready to sew a test piece.  I will usually take 2 pieces that are 2.5" square and sew the seam and press it open.  Measure the piece.  Does it measure 4.5"? Yes? Bingo! 

Once you have your seam all set, sew to your hearts content!! 

As you can see below, one of the biggest reasons I prefer the magnetic seam guide, or the kind you can screw in, is because it is a surface I can run my fabric against with out worry of it sliding past it too much.  However, use what works for you. 

I hope you enjoyed this tidbit Tuesday!! Don't forget to send me your tips!

Much Love!!!


  1. Hooray! Tidbit Tuesdays are back!! And thanks for the great tip - I'm most impressed with that magnetic seam guide - gotta find me one of those!

  2. LOVE that shared about this tool. I have another tool that helps with the 1/4" seam, but love that this one has other markings. Thanks so much! I'm going to check out that magnetic seam guide too.


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