how to hide knots and an easy way to add seam allowance

If you have taken a workshop with me then you know I am the seam allowance police. I always mark my stitch line. I think it’s essential for small sewing. I recently came across an easy way to add or mark a consistent seam allowance:

tape pencils together to mark a consistent seam allowance

Tape pencils together.

That’s it. If you’re drafting patterns it’s a quick and easy way to make a consistent seam allowance and for marking fabric just put one pencil point on the edge of the fabric and trace around. Also, if you glue a sheet of very fine sandpaper to a piece of cardboard or foam core it makes an ideal surface to keep your fabric from slipping as you make your marks.

tape pencils together to mark a consistent seam allowance

While we are talking about sewing tips one of the questions I’m asked most frequently is how to hide knots when adding features and details. I include this trick in almost every pattern I publish (and you can find a video of it here).

1. Make a tiny knot close to the end of your thread.

2. Insert the needle a little away from where you would like to begin and come out where you would like the first stitch.

3. Pull the thread tight to pop the knot through.

4. Insert the needle and use a sweeping motion to grab the thread from the inside  and pull the tail in.  I’m ready to embroider the little white ring around my bird eye ( I always add one dot to the center too, to give it life).

5. When you are almost finished stitching stop before you are ready to make the last stitch and make a knot in the thread.  Before you tighten the knot insert the needle into the loop and pull it down the thread until it is just a little further away from your work than the length the last stitch will be.

6. Make your stitch, bringing your needle out about 1/2 inch away, pop the knot through, pull the thread tight and clip it close to the fabric. If there is still a little tail use your needle to pull it under again.

trick for hiding sewing knots

Finished!  And no messy knots.  Find another tip for making small sewing beautiful and easy right here.

3 Comments

  1. Denise Hingley

    Hi just wanted to let you know I purchased the ship and owl pattern a while ago and finally I got around to making the large ship. It is sensational I found the pattern so accurate and easy to follow .I am overjoyed with the result. I used vintage linens for some of the sails they are wonderful Every one will think I am so clever but we really know who the clever talented one is( YOU). I am about to start on the smaller ships now and the owl to be the captain. Thank you so much your beautiful designs are bringing so much pleasure..

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your seam allowance tip. I have always found measuring and marking these evenly next to impossible and tend to bogey straightish sewing and fold lines. Not anymore though, perfect seams await.

  3. eugenia morales

    Felicidades, todo está hermoso, en qué país está. Yo en México

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