a better wobbler

I’m working on a re- design of my merry wobblers.  It’s one of the patterns I’ll be publishing for the making something project.  In their original incarnation they were tricky to make – unnecessarily tricky I think.

wobbler work

So I’m simplifying and perfecting and adjusting – again and again and again. I’ve made wobblers that don’t wobble, misshapen potato like wobblers, tiny headed wobblers, wobblers that burst and wobblers that didn’t look merry at all.


The most successful one so far has been the little guy on the lower left above. I’m adjusting a little more this morning and testing a few more times to make sure the result is consistent and hopefully tonight wobbler will be achieved.


Regarding the patterns I’m working on- I have a  question for those of you who sew:

Do you prefer  to have the seam allowance added for you on a pattern or to add your own?



  1. I would be delighted to be able to make a wobbler 😉
    I love your work and follow for some years now.
    I like the pattern to have the actual shape …. and then
    add my own sewing allowance (often depending on the form)

  2. I prefer a seam allowance already added in on the pattern as I’m not likely to make a mistake and forget to add it on at some point.

  3. I prefer that the seam allowance be part of the pattern – less chance I will forget to add it.

    Love all the wobblers!

  4. I like to have it on the pattern – as others have said, there’s less chance of forgetting to add it then.

  5. I prefer seam allowance added in the pattern. Otherwise I’ll forget when I start cutting!

  6. I think it’s always easier for people if the allowance is added in the pattern, although it’s fine if it’s indicated otherwise.That said, when I was drafting my own, I still automatically added it!

  7. Hello Ann,
    I prefer the seam allowance to be included on the pattern. It’s exciting to see your progress on this new project, that little wobbler looks gorgeous!

  8. Suzanne

    I prefer the seam allowance added. Can’t wait for the patterns.

  9. I’m one of the few who prefers a pattern without seam allowance – when I draft my own I never add them in, it makes adjustments easier.
    As long as it’s made obvious and clear if they’re included in the pattern or not, it doesn’t really matter either way.

  10. I prefer to have the pattern include seam allowance as others have commented I am prone to forgetting to add the allowance.

  11. I’d love the seam allowance to be added in – I’m not a hugely confident seamstress so need all the guidance I can get 😉

  12. annwood

    Thanks so much for responding – so helpful. I’m adding seam allowances – and I finally learened to draw with the pen tool in illustrator this weekend! I’ll post a couple links to some tutorials I found hepful a little later. Thanks again!

  13. kathleen nesi

    i can’t wait to try making one of these guys. can you also include recommendations of fabrics in your tutorial? that would be very helpful for newbies too!

  14. I’m late to the question, but I’m glad to hear you’re including it – I find I get a much smoother seam if it’s added to the pattern – having tried both ways, I find I consistently get better results when it’s included.
    Love the wobblers by the way!

  15. Jaimie Sander

    Love this bird! Glad you will include the seam allowance,as I am very new to sewing and would totally forget! I love your work!

  16. When it comes to dolls, I hate seam allowance. I sew directly on the pattern line and then trim. And every machine has a different measure of seam allowance. I cannot get a .25″ seam allowance on my pfaff for my life since it means the seam allowance would be smaller than the space to the feed dog.

  17. Like Tiger, I do not use the seam allowance – perhaps if you make seam line clearly, and also have the seam allowance, those of us who do not like the seam allowance can simply trace off and cut out the pattern on the seam line. thanks for considering sharing your patterns. I would love to learn how to do the big ships and perhaps the owls.

  18. I prefer a seam allowance, just so I don’t forget and have to curse at myself!

  19. Either way is fine with me. I make tiny dolls and animals and usually the sewing line is all that is necessary but not everybody understands/likes that. I am just happy that you are making patterns!

  20. Add the seam allowance, please. Too easy to forget to add it when placing and cutting out
    Fabric pieces!

  21. I prefer seam allowances; it’s pure laziness on my part.

  22. LOVE the ships-especially the Anastasia! And love your apartment! As far as the seam allowance added would most likely prefer it be added but can work with no allowance, too. Looking forward to patterns!!

  23. I prefer margins added so the possibility of me making a mistake is eliminated. Thank ou for asking for our opinion!

  24. Love your birds and boats and I really like seam allowance added like others so easy to forget and cut on pattern edge.Enjoy reading your blog.

  25. Oh Ann…that question requires no thought from me! Please add the allowances! My brain goes into freeze motion with anything mathematical at all…I wonder sometimes why I like making things when so much depends on measurements. Even when I measure many times before I cut I make mistakes. Sigh.

  26. I belong to the people who can do with either or as long as it is explicit! On the other hand – for paper piecing it would be an advantage NOT to have seam allowances.
    You remind me of your query regarding tutorials the other day. What I would savour guidance on is the making of birds’ legs that are stable and keep the body in position. I’d love to crack this nut! (Not applicable for wobblers of course).
    Thank you, mlise

  27. Ruth Hoefert

    I would prefer seam allowances on a pattern. I think it would be safer.

  28. I like seam allowances but it’s nice when they are marked or pattern clearly states how wide an allowance is made! (Is it 1/4″ or 1/2″?) That said, I agree with Tiger, above, when it comes to sewing dolls! Some patterns call for sewing and then cutting out the pieces, so it’s easier to not have allowances in that case.

  29. I love the seam allowance on the pattern and would love to make the bird! I so enjoyed making the cup.

    M J

  30. like the sean allowance not included but just so it is clear which is which.
    The ships are magical!

  31. I’m easy. As long as I know what I’m working with, I don’t mind. With small pattern pieces I construct differently anyway.

    Lovely to see wee aspects of your appartment. You have lovely big windows to hang things in.

  32. I do not like the seam allowance. That way I can trace with pencil and that becomes my stitching line.

  33. I see that I am in the minority but I much prefer to add my own seam allowance. I like the flexibility of sewing an allowance I feel comfortable with and then trimming it.

  34. Just include a comment on the pattern piece that sewing allowance must be added. Some people like a bit larger than 1/4″ seam allowance.

  35. Roberta McDonald

    I prefer no seam allowances with it being clearly stated….uses less paper when printing and especially when enlarging.

  36. I like the way you show the seam allowance. I still cut pattern back to no seam allowance as I find that easier to mark on fabric. But it allows me to see what works, and then I can adjust if I need to.

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