Seam allowance (sometimes called inlays) as Wikipedia defines it is the area between the edge and the stitching line on two (or more) pieces of material being stitched together. Seam allowances can range from 1⁄4inch (6.4 mm) wide to as much as several inches.
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Now it is but obvious that creating a seam allowance is a bit of a lengthy work especially when you are trying to create a uniform seam allowance i.e. Making extra effort by measuring the seam and marking accurately. We do sometime get tempted to skip this step and directly go ahead with cutting the fabric by assuming the allowance ( I myself have been guilty of doing the same! ) But if you can actually do an eye measurement and gauge the allowance just by assuming ( which obviously mean you have been sewing for quite some time and can tell the measurement by just merely looking at it ) I would say go ahead and cut the damn fabric!! But if by any chance you are a beginner , which means either this is your first garment or you have sewn 2-3 garments already then please do take the pains of measuring the seam allowance , mark accurately and then only cut the fabric. Here is the reason why – as a beginner your sewing on the machine becomes much easier if you have your lines drawn clearly on your fabric. But as you get experience you might not spend so much time and effort drawing your lines on each and every piece of the fabric cut hence your straight stitches can only be ensured if you align your edge of the fabric to the lines marked next to the machine foot.
If the seam allowance itself is not uniform your sewing on the machine too will not be straight. The logic I often give for spending a little extra time and effort on uniform seam allowance is – “the amount of time spent on removing your stitches is much more than the amount of time spent on marking uniform seam allowance !!” Hence do mark the seam accurately and equally.
Happy sewing !