How can you determine the seam allowance of different clothing in order for it to fit properly?

I am talking about shirts and pants. 

Update:

This is for sewing with a sewing machine.

8 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    The seam allowance has nothing to do with whether or not clothing fits. The seam allowance is outside the seam, and where the seam is placed is what determines how the clothes fit. The seam allowance could be 1/2 inch or it could be 3 inches and the clothes will still fit the same.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I am a professional seamstress who has designed and made everything from Wedding gowns to bathing suits. I have used commercial patterns and have made my own patterns for over four decades.

    Patterns come in different sizes and just about every American pattern has a 5/8"seam allowance for garments and typically a 1/4"seam allowance for quilts and craft items.

    The size of a garment is not determined by the seam allowance. The size is determined by the pattern size used as the garment is cut from the cloth/ fabric.

    Howsoever,  sometimes if a garment is everso snug, letting out a few seams could very well accommodate a better fitting garment.

  • 1 month ago

    You usually don't determine a seam allowance when using a commercial pattern--they're all usually 5/8" or less, depending on the type of seam being sewn and the patterns are clearly marked. Most sewing machines have a small line next to the presser foot that is exactly 5/8" from the needle. Your fabric edge rides along this line when you sew any seam. Only seams around neck edges or to attach facings are narrower than 5/8", or when you make flat-felled or double seams for some reason. Again, your commercial pattern will have all these instructions, with illustrations. 

    If you're making your own pattern, you would need to add at least 5/8" to each part of the pattern pieces so you can have a seam allowance. That way you can use the same techniques you use when using a commercial pattern and you don't have to change anything. 

    Seam allowances should remain constant. It's the shape of the pattern pieces that matter more than the allowance for seaming. That's what determines fit.  

  • 1 month ago

    The seam allowance has NOTHING to do with fitting.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You don't adjust the seam allowance, you adjust the seams. If you want to fit a pattern precisely to your body, you need to baste the seams of the garment together and fit the garment on your body, marking where seams need to be adjusted for a tighter or looser fit. Then you can sew the seams with the proper stitching required for wearability. Seam allowances can be trimmed if needed to reduce bulk in the finished garment.

  • 1 month ago

    The seam allowance has nothing to do with whether or not clothing fits. The seam allowance is outside the seam, and where the seam is placed is what determines how the clothes fit. The seam allowance could be 1/2 inch or it could be 3 inches and the clothes will still fit the same.

  • 1 month ago

    My Mom, two sisters, my mother-in-law, my wife and my daughter are all experienced seamstresses. They typically use a 1/4 inch or more for their seam allowance. It can vary because of the type of material being sewn and what the item is. Stress points tend to get a bit more of a seam allowance while low stress points can get by with a 1/4 inch. Of course most patterns have a seam allowance built into them. 

  • 1 month ago

    Standard seams are figured at 5/8 inch.  This allows for adjustments as you fit.  

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