It's easy to lengthen a sewing pattern piece. If you've never done it before, you should give it a try. In this article, I will be talking exclusively about the Hi-Low T-Shirt free pattern that we published a couple weeks ago and how to make it longer. However, you can use the same concepts to lengthen any sewing pattern –so it is a skill worth learning and practicing.
There are three methods to modify a sewing pattern: the slash, the seam and the pivot methods. All methods are good, but you need to learn when and how to use each. The subject is so vast I could write a whole book about it –and some people have. In the tutorial below, I'm going to show you the slash method and I will be covering how to lengthen a pattern piece without touching the dart. So you would use this method if you just want the t-shirt longer without changing any of the other dimensions.
I want to say thank you for sending emails with your requests. I agree that for some of you, the Hi-Low T-Shirt top can be a bit short and leaves you wanting to cover a bit more in the front. Lengthening using this method should take care of that.
You will need the updated version of the t-shirt pattern. You will know you have the right pattern because the 2″ x 2″ square test will have the word “Updated” as in the picture below. If you have already printed the whole pattern, just print the sleeves of the Updated version. This was the only aspect of the pattern that changed with the update.
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You can apply the same procedure with almost any sewing pattern that you would like to make longer. As an example, Eve: the any day, everywhere pleated blouse can be a little short for some and should you wish to cover your whole bottom, this is the tutorial for you.
If you want to make sure you have the latest version of the pattern, just click below and download again. It's FREE!
How to lengthen a pattern piece using the slash method.
We will be using the slash method. This method should be used when all you need is a little bit of length at the hem. For this pattern, you'd probably want to do this if your torso is longer than 16″.
I have chosen this T-shirt pattern because it is a very flexible pattern. The top is perfect for hiding the panty line but it can be somewhat short at the front for some. We will be making the top longer and the following steps will apply to all sizes.
The first thing you need to do is pin the paper pattern at the shoulder seams and try it on your shoulders. That will give you and indication on how long it will be on you. Remember there is a 1″ hem so take that into consideration.
Place a large piece of paper and make a straight line in the middle. Tape the front and back pattern parallel to this line. Apply sticky tape to the bust side only. Measure your pattern from the hem to the bust line 15″ (38cm). Trace a line. This will become your cutting line.
Move the lower part of the pattern down the additional length that you require on both front and back of the pattern.
Retrace the top half of the pattern on the paper. Trace the new sidelines and lift the bottom half of the pattern. You are left with a pattern for a longer top. Mark all necessary marks and label your pattern. Start sewing your project!
As you can see, this was very easy to do. With this process, you can make this or any top as long as you desire. I'll show you the other methods used in modifying sewing patterns in future tutorials. But for now, Happy Sewing!