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changing pattern sizes

user-2857028 | Posted in Patterns on

Hello! I have a nifty Vogue Pattern by Carol Horn, #1907, that was new in 1988. I still love it, and re-discovered this pants-top-coat (sporty, linen style, loose fitting) pattern in a box the other week. It is a size 12.

Well, I am no longer a size 12… try a size 16.

Is it possible to re-size this pattern, which has remained in its package all these years, unused?

Do I add X-inches to the seams around the edges? Being a Vogue pattern, I expect it to fit pretty well, or drape well, in its original size. Is there a magic formula to re-size patterns? The coat, top, and pants are very loose-fitting, according to the pattern description on the back.

I checked several websites for out-of-issue, used, and vintage patterns, and this one isn’t listed.

If anyone out there has re-sized a pattern, please advise. Thank you.

Yours, Megclix.





  1. carolfresia | | #1

    There is hope! First, take a look at the finished measurements of the garments. They'll either be printed on the pattern tissue, listed on the back of the envelope, or you can measure the pattern pieces yourself, add 'em all up (don't forget to subtract seam allowances). If the garments are loose-fitting, there's actually a pretty good chance that the design ease will accomodate the size difference with little or no alterations. Styles today are often slightly more fitted than in the 80s, so it could be that the outfit will look more updated with less design ease anyway.

    Next, if you decide you do want to grade up to a larger size, take a look at Threads, No. 101, "Making Sense of Pattern Grading." This article gives detailed instructions for grading patterns up or down, using the cut-and-spread method, which is easiest for non-professionals.


    1. user-2857028 | | #3

      Thank you for your reply. I am going to give it a try. Another lady wrote in, and I found her info thoughtful too. I appreciate your time and care. Happy Holidays -- Megclix!

  2. SewingSue | | #2

    Just to put my two cents in.  I have found that I can add 1" to the side seams with no adverse outcomes.  That would give you an extra 4".  Like the other poster indicated measure the actual pattern and compare this to your measurements.  I never feel that I have to use the amount of ease intended by the "designer".  I'm the one making and wearing the garment.  I use the amount of ease that I feel comfortable with.  When using this 1" rule, I figure out whether I want the extra amount at the sleeve and pants hem.  If not, I taper to the original measurements at those points.  I only add this to the side seams.  If you add to the shoulder or center seams it will cause fitting problems.  Not familiar with the pattern but if it has a yoke, you can easily increase the size of the body piece and increase the amount gathered or pleated to the yoke.  Let us know what you decide to do and how it turns out.  Sue

    1. user-2857028 | | #4

      HI: Thank you for your reply. I am going to give your info a try. The pattern is loose fitting and just might be able to work out, after all. Happy Holidays -- Megclix.

      1. SewingSue | | #5

        Welcome.  Let us know how it comes out.  Sue

        1. susanmwilson | | #6

          One thing you might want to do is make sure you measure the ease first.  1980's fashions were designed with a lot more ease than today's and you may not need to size up that much to get the look you want!  Sue

  3. susanmwilson | | #7

    Megclix, I just looked in my (sizeable) collection of Vogue designers, and I have that pattern too, although I have not made it.  I second my recommendation to measure it first, it is pretty oversized.  Also, if you are grading up, I would try adding to the top between the shoulder and the side seams first so the neckline does not grow too large for the top and you don't make the shoulders extend any further. It is a great fun pattern! Sue

    1. user-2857028 | | #8

      Thank you very much. Your suggestion about the shoulders/neck sounds right; along with the other suggestion re adding 1-inch all around, AFTER measuring me and the pattern. Happy Holidays -- Megclix.

  4. joress | | #9

    Try the book Fitting Finesse by Nancy Zieman. You just pivot and slide the pattern pieces to adjust for a different size, up or down, give or take how much ease you want to keep. Her directions and pictures are really easy to follow and understand.

    1. user-2857028 | | #10

      Thank you very much for that suggestion. I have seen Nancy Z's book on Fitting before, but didn't think it would offer anything more, than what I already have in a Vogue Sewing Book, and some others. (I like her show, when I can catch it.) Meg.

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