How To Use A Pattern Book Properly (Video)

I’m always running into people who tell me how interested they are in learning how to sew, but they don’t know where to start. My recommendation? Start with a sewing pattern. A sewing pattern will give you the pieces and instructions you need to create something beautiful from scratch.

So how do you find the right pattern? If you’re going to sew with a paper pattern (rather than a PDF sewing pattern), you’ll begin with a pattern book.

Here’s a video I did way back in the day that will help you understand how to properly use a pattern book.

Watch here…


We’re going to talk about choosing a pattern and finding a pattern in a pattern book.

Now this is a commercial pattern that you’ll be looking for, and companies put the patterns into pattern catalogs that look like this; they just have a selection of all different patterns that they make and they’re grouped into categories. So you’ll see tops, dresses, skirts, bottoms, men’s wear – you name it.

What you’re going to do is flip through this to find a pattern that you want to make.

Once you’ve found the pattern, have a look at the photo of the pattern and also look at the technical drawings, which will give you more information about the pattern itself.

Once you know the pattern that you want to make, make a note of the style number. You’ll need that style number when you go to the counter at the store and tell them what pattern you want. So you’ll tell them the company name and you’ll tell them the style number.

You’ll also need to tell them what size you want. So flip to the back of your pattern catalog and look at their measurement chart – or their sizing chart.

The measurements that you took of yourself, you’re going to compare those to their sizing chart to find out exactly what size pattern you should be buying.

Now, fortunately, patterns come in a variety of sizes – size ranges – so you can buy a pattern that encompasses a size a little bit smaller than you and a little bit bigger than you, just in case you need to make adjustments to it.

Make sure that you’re looking at the sizing chart for the particular company that you’re buying, because each company has a slightly different sizing chart. So you’ll need that information.

Once you have the company name, the style number, and the proper size, then you’re ready to purchase your pattern. Don’t forget the size pattern that you buy is going to be very different from the size of clothes that you wear and that you purchase from a store.

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