7. Adding a custom seam allowance to your finished pattern

You’ve cut it, slashed it, designed a new neckline, rotated your darts and added all kinds of new design details. So what’s next? Adding seam allowance! This is usually a long, time-consuming process which takes some careful attention with a Pattern Master tool, especially when you’ve got lots of curves and panels. It’s a process that I personally used to dread. Well, not anymore!

We’ve created a very handy tool into the Cutting Table that does all the heavy lifting. Simply select your pattern pieces, pick from our range of pre-defined seam allowances and apply it to your block. We’ve even created a tutorial that shows you how to build your very own custom seam allowance that you can save to the Cutting Table and use on all your future blocks.

 

Tutorial Overview

1. Selecting the panels or blocks you would like to add seam allowance to.

2. Using  the brushes tool to apply preferred seam allowance to your selected blocks or panels.

3. Using the Expand tool to access the inside and outside seam allowance lines.

4. Removing the inside line.

5. Editing and refining the outside seam allowance line to finish the block and remove archiving.

6. An overview of centre front and back fold lines.

7. Creating your own custom seam allowance and adding it to the Cutting table for future use. 

Beginner

 

Downloads

To follow this tutorial you will need the following downloads.

10 Comments

  1. Lynne

    Hiya…can you tell me if the e-pattern has seam allowance already accounted for. I put in seam allowance but its not showing up when I import to illustrator. If yes, then do I need to use the brushes on cutting mat and delete the outer line or does the e-pattern need seam allowance adding

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Lynne.

      Our ePatterns don’t come with seam allowance. They are editable files that are designed to have the seam allowance added in after the design elements have been added to the pattern. You will need to add your own seam allowance to these patterns.
      You can do this by using the cutting table brushes. Delete the inner line and keep the outer line. The outer line is your cutting line.

      Reply
  2. Emma Doll

    Hi,

    Thanks for all your helpful videos! There’s a third function similar to the one Britta has mentioned, it is called offset path. Object/offset path/ input distance. Use the direct selection tool to delete inner line and manipulate. It might even be the same tool..not sure- just another way to get there. ( I am using CC 2017)

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  3. Dave Hickman t/a 205 GTi covesr & trim

    Hi,
    I am an upholsterer, specialising in replacement car seat covers. I am in the middle of digitising a number of my patterns via the tracing jpg route, in Illustrator. I tried the modified brush method, but found it too fiddly and rather laborious to be honest. I the investigated the aforementioned by Britta.
    This certainly seems easier and does exactly what is required without all the extra end point editing of the brush method. Not intended as a criticism but merely a confirmation of the validity of the method
    regards
    Dave H

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      I totally agree. I’ve recently tried the technique and it is a very clean and refined way of applying seam allowance to a pattern. I’ll create a tutorial and post it here to demonstrate the process for other users. A big thank you to Britta for suggesting it!

      Reply
  4. Britta

    Hi!
    What a fantastic job you’ve done with these tutorials! Really simple and to the point, so bravo to that!

    I do have a couple of questions to this particular tutorial though. When working with and generating seam allowances there is another option and that is to use Effect/Path/Generate Outer contours – and then select whatever distance you’d like your seam allowances to be – and then Direct selection tool to manipulate specific anchor points as needed. Any thoughts on that option vs. using brushes?

    The second question is why you’re adding three strokes to each brush, if you’re only going to use two of them (in the tutorial you demonstrate how to remove the innermost stroke). It just seams like one step too many, if you understand. 🙂 I’m sure there is a good explanation.

    Reply
    • Ralph Pink

      Hi Britta. Thanks for your comment. I haven’t hear of that technique before, so if it’s quicker i’d happily use it. I’ll give it go and possibly post an add-on tutorial to demonstrate the concept to our users. Thanks for your help! Collaboration and info sharing is what we live for.

      Reply
      • Britta

        Thanks for your reply – do check it out and see if you like it. If nothing, then you’ve at least tried it. 🙂

        With regards to my Q on brushes, I realized why 3 paths is needed (as the brush is applied to the centermost path), so never mind that question.

        Also, again, it’s ah-maze-ing that you’ve done all these tutorials and are providing them for free. They’re really high quality so kudos on that! 🙂

        Reply
      • Ralph Pink

        I’ve actually now started using this technique and it’s so incredibly simple and effortless! Thank you for the suggestion it worked a charm.

        Reply
    • Vivienne

      Hi Britta
      I tried with a few alterations as I lost the original line to start with and only ended up with the offset.
      I ensured the original lines were grouped and made it a dashed line.
      Then Cmd C copied it, then Cmd F to put it directly on top of the copied line.
      Next I used Effect/Path/Offset path to create the outer line (from the copied line),
      Finally I changed the offset line back from dashed to continuous

      I still only in training mode with Pattern Lab and loving it, I really would like to know if this is usable as it seems so much simpler.

      Reply

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