Sewing tip | Why adjust a pattern before cutting |

Published : 08/13/2021 08:05:44
Categories : Sewing Tips

Many people start to sew because they cannot find clothes suitable for their body type. In order to optimize the fit, it may be a good idea to adjust a pattern before starting to cut in the fabric.

Like ready-to-wear, patterns are created based on average measurements that differ between brands. Therefore, it is possible to have to modify a model according to your own measurements. You may need to use several different sizes for the top and bottom of a dress, lengthen the bust, or even modify the cup. All these small modifications will allow you to have a garment that fits you like a glove!

Furthermore, I have already seen comments on apps or forums concerning the cut of a pattern mentioning that such or such garment was poorly cut. It is necessary to make the difference between a problem of pattern making and a cut not adapted to a morphology. The first point is transcribed by pieces that do not match together perfectly, an opening that is too short which does not allow the garment to be put on or a lack of seam allowance which makes the garment too small. As for the second point, the fact that trousers are too long, that a dress looks like a mailbag, that the hips are too tight cannot be considered bad skills. It just highlights that patterns are created on an average.

In addition, given that we are talking about tailor-made home sewing, it would be a shame not to adjust your patterns.

So here are some reasons to adjust your pattern before starting to cut in the pretty fabric.



First reason just mentioned, so that the fit is adapted to the morphology of each one. A garment that falls perfectly will make you want to wear it often, unlike a piece that is too tight or too loose.


It would be a shame to wear trousers that is too tight at the buttocks or a blouse that opens because the bust does not fit even though we know how to sew. Adjusting a pattern will allow you to be comfortable in what you wear.

Avoiding wasting fabric

We often want to throw ourselves headfirst into a project without checking a minimum if it will be our size. But in the end, we end up with a piece of clothing that doesn't suit us and that we leave in the wardrobe or that we give away. The pretty fabric that we had carefully selected is therefore lost. That's why, it's worth taking a little time before cutting everything without being able to step back.

Trying on certain types of clothing

Just because the first pair of trousers made doesn't fit well doesn't mean that you can't sew this type of garment. The reason is quite simply the lack of adjustments during the preparation. Checking that the measurements of the waist and hips are right, but also the thighs will avoid mistakes and improve self-confidence. This applies to all types of clothing or accessories.

Understanding your body

As often mentioned, patterns are created from a base which is itself made from average measurements. All these patterns are therefore not tailor-made, it is up to each person to adapt them if necessary to their own morphology. It also helps you understand how your body moves and how you like to wear your clothes. What is this little detail that makes all the difference when altered? The more changes we make, the more we know what works for us and what we can adapt.

Changing the seam allowances

It is always recommended to make a toile in order to allow a good fit. However, for some models it is possible to try on the garment and make the alterations directly on the nice fabric. For this, it is imperative to increase the seam allowances if they are only one centimetre long. Indeed, a centimetre does not allow any leeway, which is a shame. Opian sewing patterns have a seam allowance of one and a half centimetres, unless otherwise stated. Not only does this allow small errors in misplaced scissors, and more important to widen if needed. Being able to adapt a garment is a must in home sewing. Why not put all the chances on your side to make a perfect garment for yourself!?

Learning new techniques

Adjustments are part of the sewing game. The urge to challenge yourself to make a type of garment that has never been sewn before should not be held back by the fear of not knowing how to alter. Today, there are plenty of ways to find the solution to your problem. Tutorials, blog articles, advice on IG or directly to the brand are options in addition to the traditional sewing course.


I hope these few tips will motivate you to start your search for the perfect fit.

You can also take a look at other blog posts related to this topic, like how to choose your size for a better fit, how to sew for your cup size or to know what is ease in sewing.

Don't hesitate to leave a comment if you have questions or remarks.

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