Lengthen or shorten pattern alterations are some of the easiest to do. They should also be the first alteration you do, before you make any changes to the width of your pattern. And when the pattern manufacturer provides you with lengthen/shorten lines on your pattern pieces; it’s probably because that’s the best place to do your pattern length alterations. In today’s video tutorial, I’m going to show you how to change the length of your pattern using the lengthen/shorten lines.
Why can’t I add or subtract length to my pattern at the hem?
It really depends on the style of your pattern, whether or not adding/subtracting at the hem is a good idea.
For specially shaped hems, like scallops or a hem with curved corner (like my back piece in the video), using the lengthen/shorten lines is the best place to alter pattern length.
For skirts or dresses that have a split or kick pleat in the back, I would definitely use the lengthen/shorten lines.
So, you need to look at how adding/subtracting at the hem of your pattern will affect the design details of your pattern.
Keep in mind, changing the length of your pattern shouldn’t be complicated. If it is, it’s probably better to use the lengthen/shorten lines.
Watch the video tutorial below to see exactly how I made the adjustment. I’m so glad it solved the gaping neckline problem without distorting my shoulder slope or armhole.
I created a handy step-by-step Lengthen/Shorten Guide of everything I covered in the video tutorial. To get the guide, click the image below.
So do you prefer to add/subtract length at the hem of your pattern, or do you use the lengthen/shorten lines? Let me know in the comments.