The Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Kellie B mentioned she was afraid to try a Burda Style pattern because of the lack of seam allowances. I thought we could share some ideas and tips on our experiences with these patterns. I find the tracing quite tedious as accuracy is essential! Generally I trace the pattern pieces onto tissue paper following the correct guidelines,(I am lucky enough to own a large light box I can place under the master sheet,otherwise my eyesight wouln't cope) I check against the line drawings in the instructions to make sure I have included all the marking, notches,darts etc.. Then I add 1.5 cm seam allowances and relevant hemlines to the tissue paper using a quilters ruler and French curves to keep the curves true. Even though I think the markings are often lacking I am surprised how nicely they go together .The whole process can take hours and I often think "life is to short" but I have noticed that I am learning a lot more about pattern making ,
I would love to hear other sewers method of tracing in the hope of finding a quicker and more efficient way

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The best tool I've seen for this is a double wheel tracing tool.  The inside wheel is stationary and the outer wheel can be adjusted for your preferred seam allowance.  When you use the colored tracing paper, run the inner wheel around the pattern and the outer wheel will imprint your seam allowance.

I have to spend more time in the haberdashery department ! I had never heard of a double wheel,I just googled, its a clover product and now I have to buy one! Thanks Melinda

I work in an office and so have easy access to a photocopier. I simply refold the pattern sheet so that I can create a number of A3 copies of various sections of the sheet. I then stick them together with tape - like you do with downloadable patterns. It's then easy to add my 1 cm seam allowance with a ruler and cut out the pieces. I do have to remember to check if I need to do multiple copies though - most Burda patterns have pieces that overlap even for the same item.

It means I don't have to trace and I can use my lunch break for extra sewing time!

That's great that you have access to a photocopier Tracy, I have been doing them a very laborious way which can add a couple of hours to precious sewing time.

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