DIY: How to Alter a Pattern

Whether you need to lengthen or shorten a garment, these DIY instructions will teach you how to alter a pattern.

September 8, 2014

By Amy Barickman

The Magic Pattern Book (Workman Publishing, 2014) by Amy Barickman reveals 6 magic patterns that can be transformed into 216 different looks. Her exciting, surprising and stylish book comes complete with beautiful full color photographs and illustrations, step-by-step instructions and a CD of printable patterns. The following excerpt from “Sewing Basics” shows you how to alter a pattern to fit your needs.




To alter a pattern is to change its structure so that the end garment will fit your particular body. Most pattern sizing is based on a single bust/waist/hip proportion—but not all bodies conform to that proportion!