Top Tip :: Dealing with Wide Seam Allowances

I am teaching my Sleeveless Top Workshop at the moment. We are using the Sorbetto Top from Coletterie. It’s a great pattern to use when you are starting out with sewing as there are so many skills to lean in one super stylish project.

Sleeveless Top Workshop Main Image

The Sorbetto features a 2″ wide pleat down the centre front. Now, sewing in a straight line can be tricky at the best of times, but when you are sewing a wide seam or hem then it can be even more tricky….especially when you are new to sewing. The problem being that if the seam (or hem, or pleat) is wider than the throat plate on your machine then you lose your traditional points of reference.

I like to go down the elastic band route. Just slip an elastic band over the free arm of your machine at the appropriate distance from your needle and you have yourself a new seam guide!

Dealing with wide seam allowances

Do you fashion yourself a seam guide when dealing with wide seam allowances, hems and pleats or do you just ‘wing it’?


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5 thoughts on “Top Tip :: Dealing with Wide Seam Allowances

  1. Jess

    I’ve used masking tape before – either have the edge of the tape be where your seam allowance should be, or draw a line on the masking tape. I like your idea because you don’t have to worry about leaving sticky residue.

    1. LittleBlackDuck Post author

      Masking tape is another great option, but you are right there can be a sticky residue. I also get curly edges that get in the way when I’ve left it stuck to my machine for too long…sooo lazy!

  2. Katie M

    I usually use a strip of washi tape to mark the edge where I line up the fabric. I’m obsessed with washi tape, and use it for so many things.

    I also like the idea of an elastic band. I guess you have to make sure it’s tight enough so that it doesn’t move while you work.

    1. LittleBlackDuck Post author

      Oooh, I love washi tape. I have resisted buying any so far….I’m worried it will take over my life!

      The elastic band I use is actually one of those animal shaped ones. This pink one is a polar bear I think 🙂

      1. Katie M

        Definitely resist the urge. Once you start using it, you use it everywhere – sticking up photos and notes, labelling leftovers, decorating cards and notes, plus the kids love it. Fortunately we just spent three weeks in Japan and I stocked up on loads of super cheap tape. They sell it in the 100yen shops (about 70p). I might have gone a bit crazy!


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