Stitching · Tips & Tricks

How I Fold and Press a Seam Allowance Accurately

In my almost six months of getting back into sewing, I’ve come across several instructions such as ‘turn up 1/4″ allowance and press’ or ‘press under 1/4″ on upper end… ‘ as instructed in my New Look 6232 in making the cuff.

This is by no means my invention; it was part of the instructions in making the pockets in one of the shirts I made for my sons back in May, though I can’t for the love of God remember which pattern. Before coming across this tip, I would measure then press, which was ok but I never got consistent results. This particular instruction was to sew the required allowance from the raw edge (in this case 1/4″), fold along the stitching, then press. Voilà !

I’ve since then got consistent result, and it is quick and simple. Below are the steps, and I hope you find it useful.

Stitching 1/4″ from raw edges. Pretend you didn’t notice the unequal slopes.


Fold along stitching such that stitches show on the edge of the wrong side but are not visible zon the right side. Press


Right side; ready to be finished.
I find it particularly useful for hemming along curved areas like neck and armhole edges





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