Tutorial: How to read the back of a home sewing pattern

Some of my favorite vintage patterns

Some of my favorite vintage patterns

It's sooooo hard to read the back of a pattern for the first time. The guidance of a patient friend, relative, teacher or fabric store clerk can be invaluable.

This week let's unveil some of the mystery with a super primitive infographic (though truthfully, "primitive infographic" feels like "jumbo shrimp" to me. I take that to mean my infographic is anything but primitive!  :)).

Simplicity pattern #7092

I think pajama pants are a great beginner's project.

I've had luck teaching with Simplicity pattern #7092 [update: this pattern is no longer available, but the notes below should help you read any pattern back] (though there are many other pajama pant patterns; this is just one I've used with beginners for sewing lessons). It says it's a one hour project- I think that's accurate if you're a pajama pant making machine (I sold pajama pants in the dorms in college to help pay for study abroad in Paris and have it down to an hour), but if you're a beginning sewer, I'd plan on 2-4 hours...  A lovely afternoon!

From the front, you can see the different options inside the pattern- they all look like a drawstring pant, at different lengths.  

On the back you'll find drawings of the garment back, along with suggested fabrics, a list of other goodies you'll need for the project and a size chart, among things.

See below an annotated pattern back for this pair of jammie pants, or click here for a pdf with live links.Simplicity 7092 Pattern Envelope Back with AnnotationsSo what do you think?  Does this help?  Have you ever had or needed help reading the back of a pattern before? Please comment below! And if you take the plunge and make a pair of pajama pants, post a picture on LVEO's facebook page!  :) xoxo

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February 23, 2012


Size Chart