Top tips – Using a multi size pattern
If you are using a vintage pattern you will notice that it is precut to one size. There may be a number of style options for collars and cuff variations, for example, but fundamentally you only have one size to deal with and the pattern pieces are already trimmed ready to use. However, contemporary pattern manufacturers now print multi-sizes and it is rare to purchase a pattern that is already precut to one size. This week’s top tip is about using and preserving a multi size pattern for frequent use and flexibility with the sizes you wish to make.
So, you have bought your pattern and have realised you would like to use the size 10 and the size 18. Firstly, do not assume the size 18 (larger size) cutting lines will always fall on the outside line…pattern grading – when we change the size up or down – can mean that the cutting lines change direction frequently. You will see this often happens around the underarm point of bodices and at the shoulder seam.
Check the cutting line key on the pattern so you are clear which line to follow for each size. E.g., on this pattern the size 8 is a fine solid line, the size 10 is a small dashed line and so on.
Use a coloured pen or pencil to trace around the size you want to make to make it clear which line you require, especially when there is a change of direction.
Be aware that a single solid line indicates a universal line which is relevant to all the sizes.
Add some masking tape to where the pattern lines change direction (I have used super wide tape to accommodate this multi pattern – available from places where everything costs one British pound). You can then clip in and fold back to expose the size you wish to make and still preserve the pattern for an alternate size.