Understanding & Reading a Sewing Pattern Envelope
Once you’ve reviewed all the Beginner Sewing Basics, you are ready for understanding & Reading a Sewing Pattern Envelope. There is nothing more exciting than getting your first pattern or any
FRONT of a Sewing Pattern Envelope
Things you’ll see on the front of this pattern envelope are: The pattern company name
The pattern number
The pattern size or multi-sizes
The front image views of the garment available to make, and letters with each image.
BACK of a Sewing Pattern Envelope
Notice ALL the information on the back of this envelope? One good thing is that half of the envelope is a different language. The other half in English. Once you are familiar with specific information given on a pattern envelope and where to find it, reading the back of a pattern envelope won’t be so daunting! (Pattern envelope layouts may vary)
Time to read the back side of the sewing pattern envelope, one section at a time, starting at the top and working our way to the bottom! Refer to the image (back side of pattern envelope) above as we discuss the sections:
Envelope Flap- Body Measurements
These measurements are what your approximate body measurements are. *TIP- When figuring out a shirt size for ladies, use your upper bust measurement. When figuring out a size for shorts/pants/skirt use your hip measurement.
Description of Garment Items and View Letter Letter
Each garment piece has a front view image and a corresponding ‘view’ letter. These same letters are also used in the pattern instructions and on the back of the envelope.
Garment descriptions give some garment details and use a ‘view letter’ Some descriptions pertain to more than one view and using letters keeps keeps descriptions simple without having to name every item each time. Example for the pattern shown above: A, C, D, F, G: Purchased Trim This tells you that one robe, both shirts and both pajama pants all have additional purchased trim added.
Fabric Yardage needed for each garment
The view letters and sometimes word descriptions are used to label each garment item for the amount of fabric yardage needed. You’ll also notice that most times there are yardage amounts given for each fabric width. Some fabrics are 45″ wide and some are 60″ wide. If the fabric you are choosing has a different width, you’ll have to do some conversion math. (Fabric stores have a conversion table to help you figure out the amount of fabric)
You’ll also note that by each fabric width there are ‘****’ There is a key that tells you what each star stands for. In the case of this particular pattern: *With Nap, **Without Nap, ****With or without Nap. If your fabric has nap, you’ll need extra fabric yardage to be able to place all pattern pieces the same direction.
For this particular pattern, the yardage is the same, with or without nap.
Suggested Fabrics and other Notions Needed
Use the suggested fabrics for the pattern you are making-otherwise your garment may NOT fit as intended.
This section explains what notions are needed for specific garment views. The view letters are used in this section too; know what VIEW letter you are using.
Finished Garment Measurements
The Finished Garment Measurements give you an idea the amount of ease that is built into the pattern. If the finished garment measurements are quite a bit larger, you’ll know the the garment will have a relaxed fit. If the garment measurements have ease that are closer to your body measurements, you’ll know the garment will be fitted.
Back Side Images of each Garment
On the Back Side of the sewing pattern envelope, you will see the front view images AND the back view images. The corresponding front and back views will use the same VIEW LETTER.
Now that you can understand and read the sewing pattern envelope, you may want to get a quick understanding of the pattern instructions.
Thanks for reading and Happy Simple Sewing to You!
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