Opening up and looking at your first sewing pattern can be intimidating. But with this quick guide I’ll show you all the highlights what you need to know to have success. This guide focuses on a traditional sewing pattern. To learn the differences between a traditional and a digital pattern be sure to check out my article here.
The first thing you need to know when learning how to read the pattern is that the ENVELOPE is important. Don’t just toss it aside. On the back you’ll find information on measurements, what fabric and notions you’ll need plus skill level.
Inside the envelope you’ll find two types of paper, one is tissue paper (the pattern) one is a heavier paper (the instructions).
On the heavier instruction paper you’ll find a sketch of the item you’re making and several “sections” to the instructions. Each of these instructions is important to look over before you begin to sew.
One section shows you all the pattern pieces that you’ll be dealing with – it’s great to refer to when you’re dealing with lots of pattern parts.
Another shows you the proper layout of how to cut out the pattern.
Pay attention to the symbols on the pattern itself. Arrows will show you how the pattern is supposed to lay on the grain, also where to cut notches into the fabric. There also might be additional instructions on the pattern itself.
When sewing clothing make sure that you’re cutting on the correct grade (size) of pattern that you want to make.
For even more detailed directions be sure to watch the video below all the way through.