Monday, 1 October 2012

Sewing tip + printable: seam allowance conversions

My first little sewing tip really is, well, little. But it makes a difference, and that's what's important!

Look what I did to my sewing machine:

Yes, we're bridging the Atlantic divide here. It's a chart of metric and imperial seam allowances.

With so many tutorials and patterns online from around the world, not to mention pattern houses based on different continents, I find I'm constantly changing between the two kinds of measurements. I was taught both at school (in the UK), but not being a maths fan I never really took in the imperial stuff.  Turns out, now I sew, that I should have paid better attention (eating humble pie before my maths-teacher mum). Those of you in continental Europe were never taught imperial in the first place, of course, and I'm guessing that Americans don't learn metric either. What does one learn in Australia/NZ?? I have no idea.

On my little label I've included not only the converted measurements but also where I should position the needle, foot and fabric. Like I said: small thing, but it saves me having to calculate every single time.

Want one for yourself? Here you go!

You should be able to download it to edit, or just copy and paste into a document so you can update the "fabric alignment" column for your own machine. It's my first time using google docs, so let me know if there are problems.

As ever, happy sewing!

:: :: ::

Kids Clothes Week is coming up soon! I'm prepping and cutting and I suspect there'll be child-related stuff galore coming up over the next week or so. I'm really looking forward to getting into it and seeing what everyone else makes too!


  1. In Australia it's all metric - except now that I sew I often talk in terms of inches... but only up to about 2 inches. After that I've no idea. Thanks for the litte ready reckoner!
    I can't wait either for KCWC. You are good to have started cutting and tracing. I need to get organised, it's only a week away.

  2. What a great idea! Thanks for the printable. Also, I like your wiksten top. I keep thinking about that one...think I need to buy it.

  3. Thank you both - I think "what a great idea" must be the highest crafting compliment there is, no? Glad you like it!

    @Kirsty - I want to spend my hour a day sewing, not cutting, usually I am never this organised!

    @Adrienne - I can't recommend the tova pattern enough, I love it. Do it do it! I've just made another one which should appear here one of these days.


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