How do I select the right pattern?
Most commercial patterns have a row of symbols (triangle, circle, rectangle, hour glass) located on the back of the pattern envelope. These symbols are an indication of the body type that this pattern is recommended for.
Patterns usually have a list of fabrics that are recommended for the garment. It is important to consider this because the characteristics of the fabric will affect the fit and drape of the garment. Patterns often list fabrics that are not suitable for the particular pattern design. If you are using this type of fabric, select another pattern.
There are several major pattern companies and countless independent pattern makers to select from. Some research and experimentation will help you choose the right one for you. Different brands focus on distinct styles and others are designed for a specific body type and/or shape. Learn as much as you can before you purchase. Once you find one you like, stick with it.
The pattern envelope will list the yardage of fabric required. It will also list notions that are required for each garment design. Keep this in mind when you are selecting a pattern, especially if you already have your fabric or if you are on a budget.
The pattern envelope will have a written description of the garment design. The description will provide details that you may have missed when looking at the illustration or photo of the garment. This is where you will get a clear description of the design ease that has been added to the pattern. The garments will be described as “loose fitting,” “semi-fitted,” or “fitted.”
Pattern envelopes have photographs or illustrations of the garments on them. It is often difficult to accurately see the details on these pictures. The back of the pattern envelope or the instruction sheet will have line drawings of the garment. It is much easier to see details and seam lines on these drawings.
Pattern prices have increased significantly in the last few years. There is a broad range of prices. If you are not going to use the patterns for all the garments included with your selected pattern, you may be able to find a similar garment pattern with less options for a lower price. Most stores and companies have frequent sales on patterns, watch for sales and buy your patterns then.
Most patterns will indicate the difficulty level somewhere on the pattern envelope. Some of the ratings you will see are: easy, intermediate, average, advanced, and difficult. When selecting a pattern, keep in mind your skill level and how much time and energy you want to invest in this project. If you are unsure, look at the instruction sheet to see if the pattern is too difficult for you.
Sewing Frequently Asked Questions
How do I set up a good sewing room?
How do I select the right pattern?
What kind of cutting equipment should I use?
What kind of sewing machine should I buy?
How do I mark the fabric?
How do I iron fabric?
How do I choose the right fabric?
What makes a good cutting table?
What measuring tools should I have?
How do I choose the right size pattern?
Where should I buy my fabric?
What is the best lighting for my sewing room?
How can I get custom fitting patterns?
How do I hold the fabric in place?
Where can I store things in my sewing room?
What can I use to store sewing gadgets?
What is the best way for me to store sewing supplies?
Do I need to preshrink interfacing?
What are some useful tools to have for sewing?
What kind of light should I use for sewing?
What kind of seam ripper should I get?
What kind of tape measure do I need?
How do I remove gum stuck to my clothes?
How should I store patterns?
How often do I need to clean up my sewing room?
How do I deal with difficult customers?
How should I store my scissors?
How do I get rid of scorch marks?
Is it safe to use magnets around my sewing machine?
What kind of seating should I use when sewing?
How do I press seams without getting imprints?
What kind of thimble should I use?
Do I need a needle threader?
How do I preshrink interfacing?
What kind of interfacing should I use?
How can I protect my back when sewing?
How do I apply interfacing?
How do I hem thick fabrics like denim?
How do I cut open buttonholes?
What kind of needles should I use for hand sewing?
How do I hold the pattern in place?
How do I build a business reputation?
What pressing tools should I have?
How do I baste?
What color thread should I use?
What is basting?
How high should my sewing table be?
How can I organize my thread?
What is full spectrum lighting?
What is a third hand?
How do I stabilize knit fabric?
How do I clean my iron?
How do I get curves seams to lay flat?
Can I shorten a zipper?
How do I sew a smooth dart?
How do I sew over thick seams?
How do I gather?
What kind of patches should I use?
How do I do a gathering stitch?
How do I make an invisible hem?
What is microfiber?
How do I learn new techniques?
What is a nap?
How much time will it take me to do a project?
How do I layout the pattern pieces?
How can I focus my advertising?
How do I work with fabric cut on the bias?
How do I learn about my sewing machine?
What kind of pin cushion should I get?
How do I make buttonholes?
How do I preshrink my material?
What kind of floors should I have in my sewing room?
How do I remove lint from my machine?
How do I make a top-stitched hem?
What kind of documentation should I keep for work taken in?
Do I need to follow the steps on the pattern in order?
What is a seam allowance?
What is woven fabric?
can I use a magnetic seam guide?
What kind of sewing business should I start?
How can I keep my button organized?
How do I remove creases in fabric?
What kind of ironing board should I use?
How do I lay out my fabric?
How do I develop a niche?
Where can I get support for my business development?
When should I cut on a single layer of fabric?
How do I keep my thread from getting tangled up?
How do I sew an invisible hem?
How determine the proper care for my fabric?
How do I cut out the pattern?
What are pattern notches?
Do I need to keep my sewing machine covered?
How do I get a smooth finished seam?
Can I use generic parts and accessories for my sewing machine?
What is knit fabric?
What kind of pins should I use?
How often do I need to oil my sewing machine?
How do I clean out the tension discs in my machine?
How do I change the light bulb in my sewing machine?
Do I need to preshrink my zippers?
How do I keep the seam straight?
How do I prepare my pattern before using it?
How should I store my thread?
Should I use a surge protector with my machine?
What color should my walls be in my sewing room?
How do I deal with customers?
How do I prevent job burnout?
What is a point turner?
How can I save time cutting fabric?
How often do I need to change my machine needle?
How often should I have my sewing machine serviced?
What kind of thread should I use in my sewing machine?
How can I store sewing machine needles?
What kind of thread should I use?
How do I straighten my fabric?
What is done during routine servicing of my sewing machine?
Where should I buy my sewing machine?
How much should I spend for a sewing machine?
How can I sharpen my machine's needle?