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.
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!
- Pattern making or butcher's paper
- Straight ruler
- Removable sticky tape
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 an 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!
The high/low look looks like a critical error in clothing design. I’ve made my own clothes for a very long time and whoever came up with that HIDEOUS style should be slapped into space!! It’s AWFUL!! And it looks TERRIBLE on anyone who wears it!!
I love the high low Tee! I’m having trouble downloading the pattern. It just shows pictures not the pattern. Can you please help?
[…] How to lengthen a sewing pattern using the Hi-Low T-Shirt to illustrate […]
Thanks for all your Sewing tips and patterns!
awesome! thank you!
You are welcome Deby 🙂
Hello Mayra. Thanks for the lovely pattern. It looks great. May i ask are seam allowances included in the pattern or should i add them?
You are welcome Agfy, the seam allowance is included.
Can you give me a size chart for this pattern? I didn’t see anything that addressed this. Thanks.
Hi Julman, click on the link for the article all the info is there.
Thank you! While I already know how to lengthen patterns due to extreme tallness in the family, many do not. Also, I personally have just cut my pattern pieces and pulled them down on the fabric while pinning. Next time, I will try using the parchment paper I have for this!
Ahhh Patti you must have some pair of legs! 🙂
Great instructions. Thanks for educating me about this technique. I hope to see this top one day.☺
You are welcome Jessica.
Thank you so much, now I know how to lengthen patterns.
You are welcome Delma!
This is a good thing to know! I love this T-Shirt, and plan on making several. I’m quite sure this is the correct length for me. I am 4′ 10″, and have to shorten everything. I have some things I’ve shortened too much, and now need to lengthen them, especially tunics. Thanks for the great patterns and sewing tips.
Hi Kaaren, you are must welcome. I do not think you need to lengthen the t-shirt.
Thank you so much for this. Although I already know how to lengthen patterns, many might not and we never want to put anyone off of learning something new or stifling creativity. <3