Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Whaddya mean I need to add seam allowances?!?

Did you know that the patterns in Burda World of Fashion (BWOF) magazine do not include seam allowances?

If you read my reviews on PatternReview you already know that I just found this out!

Now I've sewn from Burda patterns and those do include seam allowances. I guess I made an assumption (tsk, tsk) that seam allowances were included on the patterns in the magazine also.

That explains why the past two skirts I sewed from BWOF were tight. Tight enough that I verified I had traced and cut out the correct size. Come to find out that I had never added seam or hem allowances (she said as she blushed bright red).

Just goes to show that it really doesn't matter how long you've been sewing. There's always more to learn.

By the way, here's a neat little tip that Kristine left for me in the comments section of the BWOF skirt I reviewed on PR:
...the easiest way to trace and add seam allowances at the same time is to take 2 pencils, putting a small piece(s) of cardboard between them to space them your seam allowance amount, then tape the pencils together. One will trace the seam line, while the other will automatically place the cutting line.
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  1. Anonymous10:41 PM

    I had heard that about the BWOF patterns. I have also read that in couture sewing, the seam allowances are usually 1". Perhaps the BWOF patterns omit seam allowances in order to allow more advanced seamstresses such as yourself to add the seam allowance width that they prefer.

  2. It depends.

    From what I know, Burda patterns for US markets are with seam allowances. For europe markets, its without allowances!! The ones that I bought in France does not have seam allowances.


  3. I know I read that was a little confusing in the magazine the way they wrote it, whether it did or didn't. But thank you for sharing that tracing tip. I recently acquired two back issues, and have a new subscription where the first issue should be arriving in the next month or so. I'm excited about trying some of the patterns, but I wouldn't have thought of that tracing tip-- that will make it so much easier!

  4. Here's my lazy girl method. Sometimes I just trace the next size up and consider that the seam allowance. It won't work with all styles if there are alot of fussy details, and I usually lengthen things anyway because I'm a tall girl. I find that after almost 40 years of sewing I am still learning new things. My DH was looking through my latest essue of BWOF and asked "why didn't you know about this magazine sooner?" Duh...don't know!!! Mary :)

  5. See, now this is why you should always read the directions! :)

    And to counter an earlier poster, Burda envelope patterns in England and Ireland at the very least, DO include seam allowances. So sweeping generalisations aren't really helpful here...

    Personally, after sewing with BWOF for almost three years now, I really really prefer NOT having seam allowances on pattern pieces. It makes alterations so much easier, and you can instantly check if pieces match up without having weird corners

  6. What a helpful tip. I never would've thought of doing that. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Anonymous12:33 AM

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