How to Pretest Pattern Changes with “Minipats”
You want to lengthen a short sleeve into a long sleeve, but you’re afraid you’ll miss the desired length. Or, you want to alter a section of the pattern, or would like to try a design detail, but the prospect of drawing, cutting, and tracing the pattern pieces seems daunting and time-consuming. Here’s how I make exploring the possibilities easy.
Usually on first page of the instructions sheet, you’ll find little pattern pieces known as “minipats.” Enlarge them by 200% to 400% on your printer or copier, and work out your alterations or design ideas on a much smaller scale. This enables you to test-drive your pattern change with the least effort and without risk.
These minipats are scaled to each other.
Making a short sleeve longer is one of the easiest alterations to make.
Enlarge the pattern 400% for easy visibility.
Draw the underarms to the desired length. Don’t forget the turn-of-the-cloth adjustment at the new hem’s outside edges.
The shirt front would be great if color blocked, but where do you draw the lines?
Don’t forget the seam allowance between your cuts.
Alterations can be done in the same way.
The blouse can be in a size that better fits the upper body.
It can also be expanded to accommodate the hips.
Whether your changes are for design or fit, working out the details with mini patterns saves time and energy.
Have you used this technique or a similar method for enlarging your patterns? If so, please share below!