Do you may have a very lengthy or brief torso, legs or arms? If this sounds such as you, you may need to take into account lengthening or shortening your stitching patterns to get a greater match.


It is Nikki right here, and at the moment I will speak you thru lengthening or shortening sample items. The diagrams under present a bodice, which you’ll be able to modify you probably have an extended or brief higher physique, however you need to use the identical method on a great deal of sample items – trouser legs or skirts you probably have lengthy or brief legs, sleeves you probably have lengthy or brief arms, you identify it. This is among the nice issues about stitching – you’ll be able to modify simply the components you have to get a garment to suit your distinctive form.

If you’re lengthening a sample piece that has an identical pair or dealing with that will likely be affected by the size – for instance, a entrance bodice will typically be a part of a again bodice and typically a entrance opening dealing with – make the identical adjustment to the matching sample items, else you may find yourself with a wonky garment (not cool).

Prepared? Let’s get caught in to…

Find out how to lengthen a stitching sample

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

If you wish to lengthen your sample piece, lower alongside the underside “lengthen or shorten” line, to separate your sample items into two.

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons


Get a chunk of paper a bit wider than the sample piece you might be lengthening, and draw two parallel strains. The space between the strains needs to be the quantity you need to lengthen the sample piece by. Place the piece of paper beneath the highest a part of the sample, align the newly lower edge with the higher horizontal line, and stick it down with tape or a glue stick.

We have to lengthen a straight line down from the highest sample piece so we will appropriately match it up with the underside sample piece. On this instance, utilizing a ruler, lengthen the centre entrance edge (the lengthy vertical edge) and draw a line to the underside of the little bit of paper. For those who’re utilizing one thing with out a vertical edge, you’ll be able to lengthen the grainline arrow if it is vertical. Take a look at the Jessa becoming publish for more information and particulars if you wish to see some pics of this in motion. 

Now align the lengthen/shorten line on the underside piece with the decrease horizontal line, matching up the vertical strains or grainline arrow. Lastly, fill within the lacking a part of the aspect seam line and lower away any extra paper. 

Do not forget to repeat the above processes for any matching items, just like the again bodice 🙂

Find out how to shorten a stitching sample

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

To shorten your sample items, draw a parallel line beneath the “lengthen or shorten right here” line – the gap between the 2 strains needs to be how a lot you need to shorten it by. I’ve proven this right here within the above diagram in pink. 

How to Lengthen or Shorten a Sewing Pattern - Tilly and the Buttons

Reduce alongside the decrease “lengthen or shorten right here” line and transfer the decrease sample piece straight up till the “lengthen or shorten right here” line meets the road you drew within the earlier step. Align the straight centre entrance or centre again edges in case you are adjusting the bodice or skirt, or the grainline arrows if the sample has one operating straight down the piece, to verify the items do not shift to both aspect. Tape or glue the items collectively. 

Get a bit piece of paper and stick it beneath the sample piece on the aspect seam. Redraw the aspect seams so that they’re easy.

Make the identical modifications to any matching items, corresponding to a again bodice.

Et voilà, you have efficiently lengthened or shortened a sample piece! We have got masses extra becoming assets coming over the following few weeks so be sure you come again quickly.