Seam allowance / this is the area of the fabric from the stitch to the edge. This can vary based on what gets sewed. #seamallowance
A seam allowance reminds me of a bleed in the graphic design and printing industry.
A seam allowance is the area between the edge of fabric and the stitching line (or seam line) on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together.
Notice the graphic above with the left and right arrows on the right side.
Home sewing Seam allowances can range from 1/4 inch wide (6.35 mm) to as much as several inches.
Commercial patterns often have seam allowances ranging from 1/4 inch to 5/8 inch.
When you sew a project, you must keep to the same seam allowance through out, unless it calls for various allowances.
Always check your pattern for what seam allowance is used.
Common seam allowances:￼
- 0.6 cm / 1/4″
- 1 cm / 3/8″
- 1.6 cm / 5/8″
- 2.5 cm / 1″
Narrow seam allowance
- Special seams
- French seams
Wider seam allowance
- French seams
- Heavier fabrics
- For fitting or size adjustments
First published March 3, 2022. Last updated or republished December 27, 2022.
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