Exercising my left brain


I LOVE pattern-making and adjusting. The left side of my brain gets a real kick out of doing some math once in a while, and the precision appeals to me as well.  I am making some pants for a young friend of mine, and like most of us, she doesn’t fit a pattern straight out of the envelope. So I gathered up my tools: painter’s tape, tracing paper, marking pencils and pens,  curved and straight rulers, tracing wheel, tracing paper, scissors, etc. I needed to shorten the crotch depth, shorten the leg length, and add a bit to the waist. I folded out 3/8″ on the crotch depth line, and 2 inches on the leg length. I also slashed and spread the waist on the front, and decreased the dart width in the back. Of course I used my favorite blue painters tape to hold all my adjustments while I traced off the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper!


I have to say, I am not really a fan of tracing patterns most of the time. I really prefer to just cut out the tissue since I consider my time more valuable than the cost of most patterns, but since I know I will be re-using this same pattern for some years to come, it is worth a few minutes to trace it off (sort of, anyway!). You can see in the pix above that I have a layer of white Swedish tracing paper on the bottom, and then a large sheet of red carbon tracing paper face down on the Swedish paper, and the adjusted pattern on top. 

Below, I used my wheel to trace around the new cutting lines and all pertinent markings. This “layered sandwich” technique is pretty much the fastest way I have found to make a clean, adjusted pattern.


Here is the set of finished pattern pieces – all ready for a new pair of pants for a wonderful young lady. I think she deserves pants that fit correctly too, don’t you?


Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen

2 Responses to Exercising my left brain

  1. I don’t want people to be afraid of pattern-making or adjusting – it is fun! Sometimes the needed adjustments take a little more time, but the results are worth it.

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