Knowing how to measure for pattern alterations is very important for successful sewing. Here are some tips to get you on the right track!
Measure Before You Cut
It may seem obvious, but measuring plays a big part in sewing. The trick is to measure as accurately as possible before you start altering the pattern. The back of the pattern envelope has basic body measurements for each size. Compare your measurements to the envelope to determine what size pattern to cut.
The measurements are on the envelope flap. Find your estimated size at the top (start with your ready to wear size), then read down the column to find each measurement. You may find that your body size is not the ready to wear size you normally buy in the store. Purchase the pattern size that is closest to your body measurements. Most patterns have several sizes in them which gives you options when you are ready to alter.
Just to clarify, these dimensions are not pattern measurements, they are body measurements. We will cover the pattern measurements in a separate post.
Here’s a live video to walk you through the process.
- Keep the measuring tape parallel to the ground as you measure.
- Don’t stretch the tape too tight, vinyl tape measures will stretch and give you a measurement that is inaccurate. Keep the tape taught, but don’t over extend it.
- Include a sleeve length measurement. This is not listed on the pattern envelope. Measure from center back neck, across the shoulder, down the arm to the wrist bone. We will use this measurement for accurate sleeve alterations.
- Always measure across the fullest part of the body.
- Make note of your body measurements for bust, waist, hip, and center back waist length. Then compare them to the size information on the pattern envelope. If your measurements are different, you will have to do some pattern alterations. More info to come!
This week’s goal is to buy the Mc Call’s pattern, take your measurements and choose your fabric. I will have tips on choosing fabric for this project soon!
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