Demystifying How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 1 | Tina Doyle | Skillshare

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Demystifying How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 1

teacher avatar Tina Doyle, Sewing Instructor

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

7 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Introduction to Demystifying How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 1

    • 2. How to Measure Yourself

    • 3. Top 5 Sewing Pattern Companies

    • 4. Reading the Front of the Pattern Envelope

    • 5. Reading the Back of the Pattern

    • 6. Tips for Buying Patterns as a New Sewer

    • 7. Conclusion

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About This Class

Demystifying How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 1 explains:

How to measure yourself in preparation for buying a sewing pattern.

How to figure out what size and skill level pattern to buy.

What the information on the front and back of the pattern envelope means.

An overview of the top five sewing pattern companies.

Tips on what to look for when you're buying a pattern. 

Armed with this information hopefully, you'll feel empowered when shopping for sewing patterns.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tina Doyle

Sewing Instructor


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1. Introduction to Demystifying How to Read a Sewing Pattern Part 1: Welcome to demystifying how to read a sewing patent Part 1. My name is Tina Doyle and I have been selling for many, many years. In this class, I'm going to show you how to measure yourself correctly, how to select the correct sewing patent on what styles to look out for as a beginner SOA, armed with this information, you'll be able to select the so in patent, that's the right size and skill level for you. 2. How to Measure Yourself: Here is my model, Kate. She's going to demonstrate how to measure yourself. When you measure the bus to place the tape around the fullest part, hold the measure close but not tight. It's a good idea to wear the broader you'll be wearing with the garment you're planning to make. 10 sideways to check in the mirror at the measure is horizontal and straight. An accurate way to find the waistline is to tie peace accord around your waist. The code or roll into the natural waistline. Measure. At this point. Sewing patterns generally placed the hip line nine inches or 23 centimeters down from the waistline. Measure down your side, nine inches or 23 centimeters, and pivot tape at that 0.10 sideways and look in the mirror to check the tape measure is strange. Find that little bump at the base of the neck and measure from this point down the center back to the waist. 3. Top 5 Sewing Pattern Companies : Top five are simplicity. But Tarik recalls the UK ambassador. You can see just from gland singer, each one, they have a similarity. A few things. Simplicity, berserk, and mock calls tend to run a little big in size. These are the three companies I would stick with if you're starting out sewing. Boc fits a little better by a great designs, sometimes a little more complex. Their instructions can be complicated and somewhat confusing. There, there are a German company. They fit tends to be a little more accurate than the other for their instructions follow a different format to the other for their more wordy with less illustrations, which can be off putting for beginners. Each one of these patents are labeled either easy or basic. This is where you have to start analyzing the design. Is it really easy? Let's compare that easy simplicity scared to the Vogue basic design code. Here you can see there are clearly different levels of easy. 4. Reading the Front of the Pattern Envelope : Let's take a look at the front of the envelope. In the top left is the style number. If you decide you wanted to buy this pattern, you could search for with this number. The left says next to the style number indicate what size range the patent comes in. This pattern comes in US size eight to 14. The next size block is 16 to 22, which would be labeled with different letters. You can see next to the style number. This particular patent comes in US size eight to 14, as mentioned. Also on the top is the brand of the pattern. And it's telling you it's easy. I'll talk a little later about patterns labeled easy. Down the left side you can see what styles you getting in this pattern. Generally you'll get one or two garments with a number of variations. Here we have four states get in various lengths and splits. The pans are the same, only one is cropped. Each style is labeled with a letter. 5. Reading the Back of the Pattern: Here we have the backup hat and envelope, and you can see it's divided into two halves, English and Spanish. Again, in the top-left is the style number underneath it says 11 pieces. That means when you open the envelope, you'll find a total of 11 patent pieces. Down the side you can see a line drawing of the back view of all the styles. It's clear to see the different variations and a lot of ways he have to be a bit of a detective with patterns. And I'll explain more about that shortly. From glancing at these images, you can just see a basic line drawing. But when you zoom in, you can see that the pants have a center backs. It also, if you look at the Hamm, It's very subtle. But the illustration is showing there are little splits of anti-A. Both skirts have a center backs if C and D have a center back vent. So this is why I'm talking about when I said you need to be a little bit of a detective, because all these little subtleties in the illustration could easily be looked over. So always scrutinize the patent. It gives you lots of bits of information. If you know what you're looking for at the top, that giving you a brief description of each garment. Some part and companies will give you more of a description. Simplicity tends to be quite basic. And that's another reason why it's a good idea to really scrutinize the drawing. Next is fabric. All patents have a list of suggested fabrics. I'm going to recommend sticking to their suggested fabrics. It will make life easier for you if you're a beginner. So, uh, if you're not familiar with different names of fabrics, take yourself off to the fabric store and look around. Some places will give swatches. If you ask, make notes of the names of the fabrics and the fiber contents, it's helpful to start a little fabric reference notebook. Next is notions. This is all the additional bits and bobs you'll need to complete your garment. Often you'll need different notions for different views. So be mindful to get the right ones for the style you're making. Patents sizes are completely different to store both clothing sizes. For example, if you are a size eight clothing, you won't be assigned a pattern. That's why you need to measure yourself and match your measurements up to a size on the pattern. Because this is a scared patent, we only need to focus on the waist and the hips. I'll come back to what to do for a blouse or dress shortly. Take your hip and waist measurements and check to see what size or sizes you'll fall into. Most people are either between sizes or two different sizes. That's fine because you can adjust the patent to fit. I'll show you how to do that in part 2 of this class. You should hip size to determine what size pattern to buy. I've added a little note at the top right to determine what size pattern to buy for scarce and pants. Use your hip size for blouse or top USU bus size for a dress, use, whichever is the larger of the two. The next block tells you how much fabric you'll need for whichever view you'll be making. The top boxes for the two different pairs of pants. And the bottom box is for the four different skirts. For example, if you're a size 14 and you making, you say, and the fabric you'd like to buy is 60 inches in width. You'll need one and a coach he yards of fabric underneath their areas telling you the fabric quantity is the interfacing requirements. I'll talk more about interfacing in part 2 of this class. But note, it's telling you how much you'll need for each style. Government measurements can give you the actual sizes of the finished garment. This can be really helpful to look over. So let's look again at our example size 14, PUC. Here's our 14 and the hip size is 30 inches. Look down to the finished common size and you can see the finished sketch. Hip will be two inches bigger. That's good as you need room to sit down and move around. But it's also keeping the integrity of the design, which is the close fitting garment at the bottom, it's telling you what the asterix mean next to the fabric width. Let me just explain what each mean. A fabric without an app looks the same however you look at it. Hold it one way or another on the color of fabric doesn't change or move. A fabric with Knapp has a raised surface such as Salvo or corduroy. It can look different depending on what direction it's brushed. If you're using a fabric width now, all the patent pieces need to be caught in the same direction. This sometimes means you'll need extra fabric. While our patent is telling us is we need the same quantity of fabric if it has nap or not. 6. Tips for Buying Patterns as a New Sewer: Tip number 1. Look at the line drawings on the back of the pattern envelope. You can see from us, for example, that the skirt consists of very little design features. Remember, you have to be a little bit of a detective. Tip number 2, try to select a pattern with fewer patent pieces. Again, if we look back at our example on the back of the pattern, it says there are 11 pattern pieces, but there are also six different styles. Look at the drawing and the image on the front. We can see the sketch is made up of three or four pieces depending on the style. Compare this get to this jacket pattern illustration. And you can see the jack is a bit more complex. Tip number 3, I encouraged begins to start out making a sketch or two as they tend to be easier and also easier to fit, which I'll get into in part to tip number four, patterns labeled easy, we'll have more instructions and they don't make presumptions that you know, set and techniques. Tip number 5, stick to non stretch fabric when you're starting out. This is where the ISI label on patterns are not so easy for beginners. Stretch fabric comes with its own challenges and can be tricky. Our first shot while until you've built up your selling chops and confidence, then pick something simple like a leggings pattern. Tip number 6, wash your fabric before cutting in and out. If you're not sure what fabric you have an even if it can be washed. Cars out to small square from the edge and draw around it on a piece of paper. Wash the square, um, when it's dry, see if it fits into the square or if it shrunk. Compare it to the fabric that's not been washed and see if it's affected the texture or the color. Tip number 7, I'm just repeating this from earlier. Stick to the suggested fabrics on the patent envelope for now. 7. Conclusion: Based on what we covered, I hope you feel a little empowered to be able to measure yourself with confidence and select a patent in the right size and skill level. In part two, I'll be making the sky in view date from the patent we just reviewed. I hope you'll join me as I continue to explain how to read Patton's, how to adjust the patent if necessary, how to check the fist. And along the way, I'll be making minor changes to the design.