Truth be told, I’m not a gadget person. When I was in culinary school, I had a lovely chef who would always tells us, “if you don’t have it, you don’t need it.” I’ve carried this bit of wisdom throughout my life. It’s amazing how little you really need and what you can do without. Having said that, I’m not against looking for tools that will aid me. For my school projects, I am constantly adding seam allowances to my working patterns and it can get pretty tiresome. So when Hollie contacted me to review her seam allowance guide, I was pretty jazzed about the idea of a small gadget that could streamline this process. A week later, a package arrived with Hollie’s invention. This product was given to me for free but I want to be clear that it won’t color my review.
For $15 AUS you get two guides, a little instruction card and free international shipping. The guides are about an inch and half long and the circumference of a crayon. They feel really sturdy and have a strong magnet. The guides are different from one another, although you can’t tell straightaway. The yellow guide is for blades with a slope and the green is for blades that are straight (it would be perfect for a rotary cutter. I must emphasize that the yellow only works with blades with a gentle slope. Unfortunately my favorite scissors have a very steep slope and the yellow guide will never lie parallel to the table. See how it tilts down?
So my only option with my Kai’s is to position the green guide way back at the pivot. This is fine for long, straight seams but wouldn’t work for curves like a neckline.
In order to get the most use from the seam allowance guide, I need to switch to my backup scissors. This pair has a gentler slope and you just stick the guide on the blade and twist until it’s flush with the table. Once on, you just follow a few easy steps to align the black band to your desired seam allowance and cut away! I’d recommend watching Hollie’s video the first time as it helps to clarify the process. Something to keep in mind (this may be a deal breaker for some of you), is that you must cut in one direction – clockwise for you right handers and counterclockwise for the lefties. If you don’t have a table that you can easily walk around, this may cause some problems.
Sadly, I don’t see myself pulling out the seam allowance guide for its traditional use because of my scissors. My backups are from Mundial and are beasts! More than a few minutes cutting with these and my wrists begin to ache. Since I overuse my wrists at my day job, I try to be careful the rest of the time so that I don’t end up with serious problems later on.
Having said that, these little guides are useful in other ways! I find that the more uses I have for a tool, the more likely I am to keep it around. Something that I absolutely abhor is trimming seams. I can never maintain a consistent trim and I’ve started to use these guides during this process. It took a little dexterity but once I got the hang of it, I was really pleased with the result.
I’ve also been experimenting with adding it to pencils and other marking devices. So far, I haven’t found anything that has enough magnetic pull but I’m sure it’s out there. Do you have these seam allowance guides? If so, have you come up with any alternative uses?
If you’d like to pick up your own pair, you can order directly from Hollie at seamallowanceguide.com!