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Making Simple Pattern Alterations...how to adjust a pattern before you make a garment.

How to make simple pattern alterations.

 
If you have made your own paper pattern to fit your measurements then you should not have to adjust your pattern, however, when you've purchased a pattern in the style you want, and of the size nearest to your own, you still may need to alter the pattern. Most printed patterns have lines and instructions on them indicating where to shorten or lengthen a pattern. 

Let's say you are making a dress. With your body proportions, you have long arms and when you hold the sleeve pattern up to your shoulder seam, it is obvious that the sleeve is much too short. To adjust for this, it is sometimes possible to add some fabric to the hem of the sleeve pattern, however, in most cases you DO NOT want to just add extra inches of fabric at the bottom of your sleeve hem to make up the difference.  Doing this would throw off the "fit" or "balance" of the style, and it is better to make the alteration within the body of the style, not the hem. 

Example: if your sleeve, dress, skirt, or pants pattern is too short by 2", alter it on the lines indicated on the pattern piece, not just by adding 2" to the hem line of your pattern.

 
 

 
 

Let's take a closer look at how to make Simple Pattern Alterations

To Shorten a Pattern Piece

To Lengthen a Pattern Piece

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