Adding Variable Seam Allowance Pattern Making Tutorial

This week @thesnobrob asked us if we could demonstrate how to add a variety of different seam allowances to one pattern. We call this variable seam allowance- for example, 1.5cm on the armhole and 1cm on the bodice. What a great question! Adding more seam allowance to the side seam is really useful when needing more wiggle for fittings.

“I really enjoy your tutorials! Could you please make a tutorial of how to put different seam allowances into a pattern? I mean, e.g. to put 10mm on the pattern but 15mm on the armhole? Thanks a lot! You make me return to draft patterns!”

Which Block to Use and Follow Along

Adding seam allowance to a digital sewing pattern is a universal concept. This technique can be applied to any digital pattern that you currently own- you don’t need to download a specific block. However, if you don’t have a digital block, then why not try one of the options below?

Made-to-Measure Torso Block

Draft a basic Torso block to fit your unique measurements. Create a profile, add your measurements, design your block, then download it as an SVG ePattern (sleeve included).

Torso Block Pattern Pack

Purchase and download the Torso block pattern pack from our sister site The pack contains Ai, SVG and PDF patterns in Sizes UK4 -24 (sleeve included).

Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator as a digital pattern making platform

Learn the step-by-step basics of digital pattern making in Adobe Illustrator in our short crash course. It’s your first step to producing digital sewing patterns like a pro.

Adding seam allowance

Follow this simple and handy tutorial to learn how to add seam allowance to your finished pattern in Adobe Illustrator.

Multi-page PDF patterns

Transform your finished pattern into multi-page PDF patterns in a range of paper sizes. Then save, print, share and sell your patterns online. 


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