by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Just looking for some advice. I'm looking at making some filled children's toys using a number of designs that I have downloaded from a UK sewing magazine. The download comes with full sized templates and instructions which should make life simple but, hey, this is a man trying to understand the instructions not one of you gifted ladies. My question is that in the instructions it states "Use a 5mm seam allowance unless otherwise stated." Since there is no mention of a seam allowance on any of the templates, should I be adding the 5mm seam to the downloaded templates or assume that it is already included. Stupid question, I know but I don't want to muck things up on my first attempt at toy making. Thanks for your advice and understanding.


by babash 24 Nov 2016

How is the Toy making going Dennis? Have you had a chance to do a test yet?

by gerryvb 18 Nov 2016

Hi Dennis, great to see you here again.
About the question I noticed many answers have been given, For me I think you would add a 5 mm seam . Most of the time the ITH toys turn out a bit small, so when you add the seam it will be a bit bigger, and when it seems you don't need that extra seam , you can always cut it off later. You cannot add it later after all....Hope this will help you a little, together with all other advices.

1 comment
gerryvb by gerryvb 18 Nov 2016

just noticed this question was of August.....well better late than......

by killiecrankie 18 Nov 2016

Why not make the smallest one ,you have up in some old fabric ,to see if the template as is, works for you .

by sewtired 17 Nov 2016

Speaking with only knowledge of US patterns, when it says use a "5mm" seam allowance, it normally means the seam allowance is included, but not marked. If it's not included, then I would think you could use whatever seam allowance you desire as you would be adding it to the pattern yourself. The only problem I can see with adding one when it was already included would be in fitting curved pieces together in which case, you could always trim it off again. Don't be faint of heart, give it a whirl. Good luck!

by carolmary 17 Nov 2016

One suggestion for you is to fold your material right sides together and then draw your pattern on the back, then sew on the line and cut around your pattern with pinking shears. This makes the toy nice and easy to turn to the right side. carolmary

by Patricia109 11 Aug 2016

I agree with a comment below. Add the 5mm if you wish or don't if you wish. It is a tiny seam allowance and will only make 1 cm difference in size to the toy's overall width/height.
The mention of using a different seam allowance is for parts that may be an opening & marked as such or where something is cut on the bias in which case the SA needs to much bigger.
I buy my toy stuffing in very large bags from the sewing store that sells lots of crafty (as opposed to only quilting or sewing) things. The other stores generally only carry the smaller bags, which can prove expensive in the long run.
Do you have some chopsticks to use as stuffing tools? The blunt end is good for pushing the fill in.

by sailorgal 04 Aug 2016

Most purchased patterns have a 5/8th inch seam allowance. (Not sure what that would be in mm as I am in Texas in the USA.)

Many free patterns do not allow for seams. You must allow more fabric and use the outside of your pattern as where to sew these seams.
Don't know if this helps.

by basketkase 03 Aug 2016

Sure wish I could help, my friend......unfortunately I'm no sew'er...just stopped to say hi!! How's the seagulls coming? I see you got lots of good advice here......

dennis999 by dennis999 03 Aug 2016

Hi Vicki, well that makes two of us on the sewing front! The most recent seagulls are coming along quite least they haven't made a mess over anything as

basketkase by basketkase 04 Aug 2016

Should I have included some for realism...LOL

by pldc 02 Aug 2016

I agree if it is not shown to be added then add it if you like. Like Jerri add if you like or not won't make that much difference when all is said & done. Best of luck & do share your creations when finished.~hugs Loralye~

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 03 Aug 2016

Always the best advice from you lovely ladies. Thank you..............and yes, I will share my (creations lol) work once finished.

by jerrib 01 Aug 2016

Just my thinking, if you don't add the seam allowance, the toy will be a little smaller, if you do add it, it will be a little bigger, but will still be a toy, big or small.
Good luck Dennis...

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 02 Aug 2016

Thanks Jerri. That's what was in my mind also but since the article made the comment I thought that I had better ask for some advice. I'm going to add the seam allowance and as you say, it can only be that little bit bigger.

by dragonflyer 01 Aug 2016

Sorry, Dennis...I'm not really sure...but if the seal allowance is not marked, I would add it...but in reality, I'm with Sue...I'd find some ITH stuffies and not worry about it!

spendlove by spendlove 02 Aug 2016

Great minds think alike!

dennis999 by dennis999 02 Aug 2016

Now who's the smooth talker, Mrs. S?????

dennis999 by dennis999 02 Aug 2016

Thank you Dragonflyer

by babash 01 Aug 2016

Out of curiosity I looked at a UK craft magazine on line and found a couple of free downloads. One had a line around the pattern that I would take as a seam allowance and the other didn't but stated use a 5mm seam. So I would add the allowance if it is not printed on the template and not if it is on the template.
Just make sure your printer is set at 100% not fit to page for the pattern printing.

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Thank you so much for your advice. Interestingly, the article does highlight the point you make regarding "not fit to page." Everyone has been most helpful.

by asterixsew Moderator 01 Aug 2016

I will add my tip for you which is instead of buying small bags of stuffing at extortionate prices I buy cheap pillows and use the filling for stuffing. Have fun making the toys

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Thank you Caroline for your tip. I know what you mean about the price of toy stuffing materials...............extortionate being an understatement.

by bevintex 01 Aug 2016

I myself would assume it is already included, otherwise it would say use a different seam allowance where stated. When in doubt try it out, if it doesn't work do it the other way

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Thank you.

by spendlove Moderator 01 Aug 2016

Patterns usually say somewhere if seam allowance is included. I wonder what other problems are lying in wait.
My advice would be to find a nice ith design!

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Now you have got me worried! LOL

by crafter2243 Moderator 01 Aug 2016

No clue Dennis. Have not ventured into toy making. Good luck with your new venture, Hope to get to see some.

1 comment
dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Well, it's the first time for me but we'll give it a go. Take care.

by mops Moderator 01 Aug 2016

In Europe patterns usually do not include seam allowance, while in the USA they do - quite confusing when you buy a McCall pattern when you are used to (German) Burda. I think I'd add those 5 mm - and try it out with some not-too-expense fabric.
Maybe some UK cuties could give you a better-grounded answer.

dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Thank you Mrs. M. It is very confusing when these different standards are applied, isn't it!

killiecrankie by killiecrankie 17 Nov 2016

Burda patterns sold in Australia have the seam allowance already added.They have been doing it for years, making life a lot easier for us.

by lbrow 01 Aug 2016

If it does not say ADD Dennis I do not add to the template or pattern. since t says use I would use the 5mm seam. Some of the ladies may have a lot more experience in toy making than myself so let's see what advise they give. Wishing you the best/Lillian

sewdoctor by sewdoctor 01 Aug 2016


dennis999 by dennis999 01 Aug 2016

Thank you very much.