I don’t usually complain or rant on this blog, I even try to stay away from reviewing things that I didn’t enjoy or weren’t that helpful – to be honest because I don’t want mean comments thrown back at me for an opinion. And because I remember the ONE line I had in my elementary school’s play Bambi in grade 2. I played Thumper’s mother and the line was, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I don’t even think I would say something if this “issue” only happened once, but it happened all throughout my sewing for the nursery.
I love tutorials that people post online, I’m even working on one myself. I’ve learned how to bake/cook some terrific recipes, done some fun crafts on my Wilting Days with Lauren, and sewed some really terrific items. The tutorials pull me in with fabulous photos that they’ve taken and pictures that show each step – as a visual learner they are so helpful.
But alas, many of the tutorials for sewing DIY projects don’t include seam allowances – don’t even mention them at all. And this has become a thorn in my side – so let the rant begin.
As you know I’ve been making items for our nursery. I wanted a truly custom nursery – not because I’m snobby and couldn’t find anything better out there, but because I wanted to be in there with our girl and know that this was created for her, that time was taken to make each item just so, just for her. I spent hours scouring online for tutorials (alright scouring pinterest, then through google) on envelope pillows, fitted crib sheets, bench cushion covers, and change pad covers. I dug through tutorials trying to find the perfect instructions for each of these items and finally found some that I thought would work.
But yah know something – no seam allowances were given. No where. Not in the instructions, not a note on the photo, not even in the comments. NOTHING! Why is this such a big deal to me? It meant the difference between putting something together and then having to rip it apart because the seam allowance was too big or having it fray open because the seam allowance was too small.
I don’t know if people are assuming that there is a universal seam allowance that everyone should use or know, but a note would be handy.
From what I’ve been taught there are a couple standard seam allowances – 1/4″ for quilt piecing and 1/2″ for clothes. So which one should I use to make the pillows? The change pad cover? The bench cushion cover? The camera case?
I am serious here, I made all of those items and not once was a seam allowance mentioned. For somethings maybe it doesn’t matter, but when I have to rip apart a change pad cover because I used too big of a seam allowance and caused the cover not to fit? Seriously.
After sewing for almost four years, I have been able to figure the seam allowances out. I’ve been able to look at the pictures (thank goodness they had those) and roughly guess what seam allowance they are using. But what about those “new/beginner” sewists? Those who want to get into the very cool and hip pastime of sewing/quilting? They would make those projects with no seam allowances listed and have their envelope pillow cover not fit their pillow. Or their camera case not come anywhere close to fitting their camera – even though it is the same make and model. They would use the edge of their foot as their guide and the seam would be huge. It would discourage them so much, maybe even turn them off (if enough projects failed) – I know, a bit dramatic here.
It is hard to believe that something like a seam could make or break a project – but it can, you all know it. It has been so frustrating to put these projects together to only have to take them back apart and try again because they don’t fit with the seam allowance I assumed.
All I am asking is when you make a tutorial, please take a second to note the seam allowances.
Thank you for reading my rant. Again note that this is my opinion only, some people don’t care about this and some people think I am being silly.