waistcoat shoulder seam allowance?

Started by Kiem, December 18, 2019, 05:36:52 AM

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Hello everyone,

So I have been looking at the waistcoat and coat construction section in a book called The Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier.

The back parts as shown are cut out without any inlay, same for the armholes.
The same thing applies to the coat construction section from the same book though some inlays are added here.. see pictures.

Does this mean that there are seam allowances included at the shoulder seams and armhole seams??
The drafts in the Modern Tailor, Outfitter and Clothier only note that seams have been added for the centre back, side seams, and for coats the underarm dart.
But the construction section suggests that seams are added at the shoulders and armholes aswell. What about the Front edges?

I have see rory duff's: making a coat series, where he is doing the same thing, He is basting the shoulder seams inside the mark stitched lines.
He noted earlier in the series that the coat he is making has a 3/8 seam allowance around the centre back and side seams, and it seems like he is sewing the shoulder seams 3/8 inside the mark stitched line.


I also noticed that the collar is being attached right on the mark stitched neckline, So the neckline does not have a seam allowance included, only the shoulders?!?

If there is a seam allowance included... can I expect these seams to be the same as the other seams throughout the draft? So for the waistcoat and coat drafts in the modern tailor outfitter and clothier, there is a 1/4" allowance on the center back seam, side seam, and underarm dart seam. For overcoats this would be 3/8"

I made 2 waistcoats using the waistcoat draft Mansie Wauch (I hope I spelled that correctly) posted on the cutter and tailor forum and I did not include a shoulder seam, I have attached the shoulders at the draft line. I added my own seam allowances round the shoulders and armhole.

Can anyone shed some light on this matter please, Its been confusing me a lot and I'd like to understand this better.

These are the 2 waistcoats I made to make up for my questions ;)


There will be, somewhere, a list of assumed seam allowances, for specific seams.

The ones that have no seams are clled in German 'fertig' meaning they are finished seams, that's just where the seam must go, but they are not counted with an allowance for various resons. They may require butt seams, they may be variable in position?

Other descriptions are for inlays, there will be an illustration of inlays, generally where adjustments can be made if necessary.
Schneider sind auch Leute

A. Ferrell

I assume you're looking at the 1949 edition of MTOC. There is a note on page 44 of the waistcoat draft: "In all the drafts shown throughout this section allowance is made for ΒΌ" seams, except where otherwise stated. Additional seams (that is, nonstandard ones) will be specially noted."

Keep in mind there is a difference between seam allowance and inlay. In Rory Duffy's videos, he is sewing 3/8" inside the original edge of the pattern, which has been mark stitched. The inlay lies outside that line, to be used if the shoulder needs letting out after trying on. The mark stitches are placed where he has chalked around the pattern.

On many trouser patterns the back fork line is nett (the English term for no seam allowance), and inlay is required to sew on the seam line, but there are no nett areas of the MTOC waistcoat draft.


I actually have a different edition of the Modern tailor outfitter and clothier.
I bought it as a e-book about a year ago, it does not specify which edition it is, except that it has been copyrighted in 2013 and it consists of 3 volumes.

The patterns in my version are by Percival Thickett.

I was under the impression there were no seam allowances added other than the centre back and side seams, and in case of coats (overcoats), the centre back, side seam and underarm dart, as there is no other mention of allowances made. Hence my confusion on the matter.

Funny coincidence, I just found the 1949 edition yesterday, you are right about the note on the 1/4" seams allowances.
I'll have a good look around the 1949 edition, I already found some useful info that is nowhere to be found in my e-book edition.

Your post did clarify what was unclear to me.

Thank you, very much appreciated.