Sewing Pattern 101 – The Pattern Instructions

Whitney Sews

It’s time for another Sewing Pattern 101 video!  This week I’m going over all the information found on sewing pattern instruction sheets.  No matter what major company your pattern is from (Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, Vogue, etc) the same kinds of information will be included.

The instruction sheets start off showing design sketches of the front and back of each item that can be made from the pattern. Each option (or view) is assigned a different letter.  The next section will show each pattern piece provided labeled with a number.  This will help figure out which pattern pieces are needed to make the view you have selected.

The instructions also include a good amount of general sewing information.  You will find the allotted seam allowances, pattern markings, how to make adjustments to the patterns, and more.

Next up are the pattern layouts.  These are VERY helpful for figuring out the best way to lay out the pattern pieces.  You don’t HAVE to lay out your pieces the way the layout shows (especially if you are making alterations or using more/less fabrics than the pattern calls for) but it is helpful, especially if you are new to patterns.  You DO want to follow the grainline and fold markings, these are very important for the drape and cut of the finished piece.

Many patterns will also include a small glossary section defining a few specific sewing terms that you’ll come across in the pattern instructions.  Then it’s time for the actual sewing instructions.  They are divided into sections for each of the pattern views.  So find the view you want to make and start from there.

Check out the video HERE where I go into more detail about all the information on the sewing pattern instructions.

I’ll be covering more of the specific terms and techniques you’ll come across while using a sewing pattern in upcoming sewing pattern 101 videos.  Make sure to leave a comment if you have a request for a future sewing pattern video.  Until next time, Happy Sewing!