Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teach Me Tuesday: How to resize a pencil skirt pattern

Hello Readers! Today I am in the midst of fulfilling a skirt order and my customer is a friend of mine who lives in Baltimore and wears a shapely size 12.  Usually I have clients come in for a more custom fit but because of the distance I decided to try my hand at ready to wear sizing!  How exciting! which also means I have to work on my pattern grading skills.

For those of you new to sewing, pattern grading is a technique of taking an existing pattern and making it larger or smaller.  In this case I am using my existing pencil skirt pattern that I used to make myself a dashiki pencil skirt and my black pencil skirt that I just featured on Sunday's Best.  If you missed that post you can read about it here:


I am in between a size 12 or 14 right now leaning more toward a ready to wear size 14  and I need a size 12 so after taking my measurements and referring to a couple of ready to wear size charts from a couple of mall brand stores websites and simple math I figured out that I need to reduce the size by about 2 inches in the waist and the hip.  I also decided to lengthen the hem by about 1-2 inches in case its too short for her, she can always take it to a tailor in her area and have the hem let out to her desired length.

Pattern Grading Methods

Now there are 2 commonly used methods of pattern grading
Method 1: Slash and Spread
Method 2: Shift Method

Today I am going to use the shift method for my pencil skirt.  If you want to read up more about pattern grading, Craftsy has a great short article about it here:


OK so are you ready...?! here we go.


Pattern paper, butcher paper or newsprint big enough to trace a pencil skirt pattern
L ruler or yard stick, hip curve
existing skirt pencil pattern preferably one that you like to fit of.
Writing utensil
Desired measurements

1) Trace your pattern onto your butcher paper

2) Mark the amount you need to either decrease of increase.  

My pattern is measured at 1/4 the total measurement which means I have to divide the total decrease needed by 4.  i.e. I need to decrease my pattern by 2 inches in both the hip and waist. So 2 divided by 4 yields me .50.  So I need to decrease in the hip by 1/2 inch.

I am going to mark 1/2 inch from outer corner of the waist point and 1/2 inch from the hip point on my pencil skirt.

3) Using your hip curve connect your new waist point to your new hip point. 

4)Place your original pattern on top of the new pattern. Lining up the new hip line with the original side seam and hem line.  Trace the rest of your new side seam.

5) Cut your new pattern piece.

6) Repeat Steps 1-5 for your back pattern piece.

There you have it.  A new skirt pattern in a size 12.  I hope you enjoyed this Teach Me Tuesday as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.  As always questions, comments and prayers welcome!

Have a Blessed Day!