Feathers Flights // Sewing Blog: How to Trim and Grade Seams

2.21.2011

How to Trim and Grade Seams

This is the first of many posts to come. I'm going to do a series on as many tips, techniques, and stitches of sewing that I can think of. They aren't in any special order. They will be categorized under the tab Sewing Basics at the top of the page.
Trimming and grading seams is important because it reduces the bulk of seams and makes the garment look more professional. Trimming and grading is used on necklines with a facing or lining, armholes, cuffs, collars, lined jackets, etc.
I made a small sample to show how to trim and grad. The green side is the inside fabric while the blue side with white chalk is the fashion fabric, or outside. I sewed a 1/2" seam and ironed it open.
When grading remember the phrase "Widest to the World" meaning, the fashion fabric seam allowance needs to be wider than the inside fabric seam allowance. The fashion fabric should be cut to 3/8" inch.
The inside fabric seam allowance should be trimmed to 1/4". In my example there is only two seam allowances. When there is more then two, the seam allowances in the middle should just be trimmed between 3/8" and 1/4".
 This is what it should look like trimmed. The longer seam allowance will face the "world", or fashion fabric, and will cover the seam allowances behind it.
Email me if you have any questions about this, so I can make this post more understandable. Stay tuned for much more sewing basics!

6 comments:

  1. I love these tips Heather, thank you so much for sharing these tips, I look forward to the others to come!

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  2. You have inspired me to start sewing again. You've made it look simple and possible for a novice. Because of you, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!!! Thanks, Heather!

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  3. hi, i really don't understand, I only need to know how to trim a seam as i am making a skirt. Please help! could you get back to me on my blog: lovalafashion.blogspot.com on the simplicity 2305 post, comment there. Thanks :)

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  4. The fashion fabric seam allowance needs to be wider than the inside fabric seam allowance.

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  5. You've made it look simple and possible for a novice.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you so much for sharing these tips, I look forward to the others to come!

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