tracing out the seam allowance

sometimes I make clothes, too

Stylish Dress Book, by Yoshiko Tsukiori
Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom, by Yoshiko Tsukiori

I’ve had this book for ages. I have, in my defence, made some of the dresses in the book, but definitely not all 26 of them. Partly because some of them are in a style I would never wear or could never carry off, and partly because I already found the go-to pattern for my new tops and I like sticking to things that work.

The newest blouse I made is a combination of two patterns in this book: the body was from Dress F and the sleeves were an adjusted version from Dress B. Since I already had the patterns traced and cut out, this was a pretty fast affair.

The patterns had been stored away forever and the crease marks were so sharp, ha. I keep them folded in labelled envelopes. I had to iron them so they could lay flat.


I usually don’t include the seam allowances in the patterns I trace. I just mark them directly on to the fabric. I know there are all sorts of fancy tools and gauges these days to measure and mark the seam allowance, but I tend to do it the low-tech, old-fashioned way.


Yep, that’s a card from a recycled box with the seam allowance’s width written on it in pencil. Then I just go around the pattern, marking the fabric with a tailor’s chalk. The fabric is an apparel-weight cotton, and I didn’t even bother tracing the pattern (using a tracing wheel and tracing paper, etc) on the fabric, since I was pretty confident with my abilities to keep to the seam allowance just using the guide on the sewing machine. I just marked where the notches were and it worked pretty well!

I didn’t take any more pictures until the top was done. Next time, I’ll have to remember to measure the length of the wrist elastic on me instead of following the measurements in the book; it’s definitely a tad too large.

Dress F body + Dress B sleeves

I also forgot to adjust the stitch length as I was top-stitching the neckline, oops. It doesn’t look too bad (and no one’s going to see it under my hijab/shawl anyway), but it still bothers me a bit, yet not enough for me to unpick and redo it!

Dress F body + Dress B sleeves. Details of neckline.

For now I’m just making clothes for myself and not for sale.

As always, if you’re interested in handmade bags and pouches, you can check out my Etsy or Shopee shops. There’s a pencil case and a wristlet using this same fabric!



6 thoughts on “sometimes I make clothes, too”

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