Altering Sewing Patterns for Proper Fitting

The Best Articles to Learn About Patterns, Alterations and Fitting Solutions

Using needle and thread to sew running stitch or straight stitch on hem of blue cotton fabric

Andy Crawford/Getty Images

The most challenging part of sewing a garment is that you can't try it on until after it is sewn... and it's not as simple as hitting the shelf for another size if it doesn't fit when you're done sewing. Learn what you can do before you even choose a pattern and what to do to make a pattern work for you by reading these articles. Success is in your future with just a little time and patience.

  • 01 of 18

    Measurements for Fitting Pants

    This PDF file from the University of New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service is a wealth of information to understanding what and where to take your measurements so you can sew your own pants that fit.

  • 02 of 18

    Selecting a Pattern Size for Perfect Fit

    New Mexico State University offers this great information to help you choose a sewing pattern that will meet your sewing desires. Learn how and what to measure and what to consider when choosing a pattern.

  • 03 of 18

    Pattern Alterations

    This is a not-to-be-missed PDF file of information from the University of New Mexico Cooperative Extension. This article is the solution to when, how and where to make pattern adjustments and understanding those pattern adjustments.

  • 04 of 18

    Making Should Adjustments to Your Sewing Pattern

    This article takes you through making shoulder adjustments to a sewing pattern. "Good shoulder fit improves the overall finished garment appearance, as well as your wearing comfort." This is just the tip of the iceberg for dealing with fitting shoulders.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    The Seam Method of Pattern Alteration

    Explore this Threads Magazine article to understand making pattern alterations on seam lines.The techniques described in this article may be the perfect solution for you, even if other methods have failed.

  • 06 of 18

    The Ease Factor in Pattern-Drafting Software

    Pattern Drafting Software is a great way to design your own patterns that will fit... if you understand the information you must feed tot he software. Learn about the amount of ease you will want to tell the software you want in a garment by reading this article.

  • 07 of 18

    Narrow Back Adjustments

    This article has easy-to-follow, photo details to understand the alterations you need to make a pattern piece to adjust for a narrow back.

  • 08 of 18

    The Dower's Hump

    You can alter a pattern for a rounded upper back. Follow this Thread's Magazine article to learn more.

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  • 09 of 18

    Choose the Correct Pattern Size

    Starting with the correct size pattern saves you alterations that you can avoid and ends with a well-fitted garment. This Threads Magazine article will give you the information you need to choose the correct size pattern for the garment you are going to sew.

  • 10 of 18

    To Fit Your Body, Measure Your Clothes

    You know what you buy at the store fits because you try it on when it's already sewn. This Threads Magazine article includes printable charts to help you use the clothing you know fits, to choose patterns and garments that will fit when you are done sewing them.

  • 11 of 18

    Making Sense of Pattern Grading

    When you talk to someone who has sewn or you read an advanced sewing book, you are bound to hear or read "Pattern grading." Don't let the term scare you.

  • 12 of 18

    The Merits of a Basic Fitting Pattern

    Do you want to alter every pattern you touch or do you want to have a basic pattern to work from? Read this Threads Magazine article, to learn more about what a sloper is and how to make a basic sloper.

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  • 13 of 18

    To Get the Right Armhole, Fit the Bodice

    If the bodice doesn't fit, don't expect the armhole or shoulder to fit the way it should. Learn about bodice alterations and why it affects the armhole with the great Threads Magazine article.

  • 14 of 18

    Everyone Can Have Jeans That Fit

    Everyone wants jeans that fit, and this article will guide you to that goal. It may even help you have other slacks that have a proper fit.

  • 15 of 18

    The Bra Dilemma Solved

    Buying a bra that fits is not always an option. Sewing your own bra so that you know will fit is an option.

  • 16 of 18

    Altering Women's Ready-To-Wear and Altering Men's Ready-To-Wear

    Ready to wear clothing would be perfect if everyone were identical and cookie cutter sizes. Since humans are individuals, these books can help you understand and make the changes you need.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    The Anatomy of a Dart and How to Sew Darts

    Properly sewn darts are an essential to a well-finished garment. Sewing them correctly is the first step to a dart laying properly.

  • 18 of 18

    Choosing Fabric for Plus-Sized Designs

    You don't have to be plus-size or sew plus-size to learn things from this wonderful article by Threads magazine. It contains all kinds of information about choosing types of fabric and how to decide if underling or lining is needed.