Video: Ultimate guide to sewing pattern magazines (Part 1)

November 18, 2018 7 Comments

Video: Ultimate guide to sewing pattern magazines (Part 1)

November 18, 2018 7 Comments

Let’s talk about sewing pattern magazines! There are so many different versions out there these days, especially here in Europe and each has their pros and cons, styles, sizing and other things to consider. In this first instalment, I talk about five sewing pattern magazines from five different countries. Some are really popular and others are a bit more locally known I think. There will be a part 2 in the future since I realised that there are indeed so many pattern magazines, so it would be too much to cover in one video.


What I forgot to mention is that all the magazines mentioned in the video don’t have seam allowances added, which is still the standard in most European countries, but I suspect that it might change in the future as most indie sewing pattern companies seem to use them and I’m sure that is a big influence. What are your thoughts about seam allowances being included? When I talk to fellow Swedish sewists, a lot of them are strongly against it, since they want to make their own decisions which seam width to use. Plus patterns without seam allowances can be easier to alter and you could make the argument that it’s easier to measure the finished garment ease on patterns without seam allowance.  But I suspect that a lot you are very much positive to included seam allowances?

Johanna Lundström

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  • Karey November 18, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve been sewing Burda magazine patterns here in Oz since the 1980s. I have to make lots of fitting adjustments, and grading between sizes, and really like how much easier it is without the seam allowance.
    When I’m fitting I use carbon to trace sewing lines onto muslin and leave 1-2″ margins where I think I’ll need extra. It is much easier to add seam allowances once fitting is done, than remove and add again later.

    • Johanna November 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

      You bring up great points about why seam allowances actually make things harder, and I agree 100 percent. I do appreciate seam allowances for the easy assembly, but as you say, when we bring alterations into the mix they quickly become a hinder rather than help

  • Joe November 20, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    I prefer no seam also, I have in the past worked from blocks and manufactured M2M, some machinists I have worked with in the past all use different size seams , I would say that it’s best practice without as most of the industry works this way in the UK anyway!

  • TylerSic November 23, 2018 at 9:49 am

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  • Darleen November 24, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    It seems to me that included seam allowance are appealing to novice sewists. You can just get started and try things out, 25 years ago, I only sewed from big 4 patterns, which always includes seam alliance. I certainly didn’t have the patience to figure out seam allowances for the different edges. But it shows in the finished garments, poor fit, or construction flaws etc. The longer I’ve sewn my preferences have changed, I now like adding my own for the same reasons you’ve mentioned.

  • Martha Reed February 11, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    I grew up sewing with SA on the printed pattern, and that is what I automatically assume. I would be happy to go “the other way,” but wish it would just become a standard one way or the other.

    • Johanna February 14, 2019 at 7:24 am

      I do think that the trend is towards including seam allowance, I’ve noticed that a lot European indie pattern do that, and I think the traditional companies will catch on

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