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Eliminate Buildup in Your Seam Allowances

Threads magazine - 138 – Aug./Sept. 2008

Ah, the mysteries behind making those smooth, flat edges on tailored garments. Sometimes, you just can’t grade a seam enough to make all the underlayers disappear. Kenneth D. King shows you how to reconfigure a pattern to divert the seam from the edges of tailored details such as pocket flaps. This removes bulk for a sleek and trim edge.

Kenneth’s flap-pocket method is similar to the pocket technique Judy Barlup uses in her excellent work on Japanese tailoring; his differs most in the interfacing.

The object of the pattern alteration is to turn the edges into foldlines instead of seamlines. This makes for a really flat, clean pocket flap. The seams are converted into mitered corners. All you have to do is prepare your pattern and underlayers, and you’re set to go.

A pocket flap is used as an example because it’s easy to see and follow. But once you have mastered this technique, look for other places to use it. It works on all sorts of tailored angles. Try it on a waistband, cuffs, or somewhere a fold can replace a laced edge, and explore the possibilities.

Kenneth shows you how to eliminate buildup in your seam allowances.

From Threads #138

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