FRONT OF THE PATTERN
1. Name of the pattern company. In this case, the name is Simplicity. There are other fabric companies such as McCalls, Vogue, and Butterick. These are the commercial pattern companies. There are also many independent pattern makers, but we will cover them another time.
2. Pattern Number.
3. Sizes in U. S., Europe and France
4. Design variations. Each one is marked with A. B. C. D. E which will be useful when reading the back of the pattern. Note that the dress can be made into a top, the dress can be made into a top with sleeves. The pants can be made into shorts. Same pattern, different variations.
5. Sometimes the pattern company will sew up one of the garments in the pattern and model it. This is very useful so you can actually see the article of clothing on a person instead of a hand-drawn image.
6. Line drawings of each pattern. This helps to determine the design details, if any.
7. Fabrics: The type of fabric you purchase to use for your clothing is crucial in the success of your article of clothing. As a beginner, follow this closely. The company knows what fabric will work with this pattern. Also, if a view can be used with another type of fabric, that will be stated here.....such as view A, B, C also in charmeuse, challis.
8. Notions you will need for your outfit. In this instance, thread will be needed for all projects. If you are sewing view "A," then you will need"one pkg. of 1/4" wide elastic. If you are sewing "A, B, or C," you will need one pkg of 1/2" wide single-fold bias tape.
9. Body Measurements: In this area, Simplicity gives a sizing help website which is awesome for a beginner who is looking for more information on measuring. It is www.simiplicity.com/size help. Do not choose your pattern size based on ready-to-wear sizes. In order to read this chart, pretend your measurements are Chest 27", waist 23-1/2", Hips 28", back-neck to waist 12", approximate height 52", then your pattern size will be 8. If you look in the first column, you will find these measurements and then the corresponding pattern size. If you are going to make pants, then measure your hips (more on taking your measurements in the future) and then look on the chart, find your hip size. look straight down from that measurement to find your size. So if your hips are 32", then travel straight down from the 32" and the pattern size will be 12. If you will be making a top or dress, find your chest measurement, example 28-1/2", then travel straight down from the 28-1/2" and the pattern size will be a size 10.
10. Fabric: For example, let's look at D Pants. Underneath the word D Pants is 45"** and 60"**. The 45" and 60" means the width of the fabric. How do you know the width of the fabric? Either measure it from selvage to selvage or look on the end of the bolt.
11. Views D and E need elastic and the amounts are given.
12. Garment Measurements: This area gives the finished garment measurements. So, for instance, if you are a child size 12 (chest size 30"), then follow down the column to the Garment Measurement section and find A. Chest. Your finished garment chest measurement is 33-1/2". If the chest measurement is 30" and the finished garment measurement is 33-1/2", that means the top is 3-1/2" bigger in circumference, so the top at the chest will not be skin tight. It will fit you with some room between you and the fabric. This is called "ease."
13. *withoutnap **with nap ***with or without nap. What does nap mean? Fabrics such as velvet, corduroy, or velour have a "nap." The raised fibers of napped fabrics lie in one direction. So if you lay two pieces of napped fabric side-by-side and then turn one piece of fabric around so the top is now at the bottom but still right side facing up, you will see that the fibers look different. In cutting out fabrics for patterns, make sure the nap is all going in the same direction. Also, if your pattern calls for fabric "with nap," more yardage will need to be purchased.
FINDING THE BODY MEASUREMENTS IF NOT LISTED ON THE BACK OF THE PATTERN ENVELOPE.
Some pattern companies print the body measurements on the flap of the pattern envelope instead on the back of the pattern envelope.
The cost of the pattern is usually written on the pattern, either on the flap (see example above) $13.95 USA or on the front of the pattern envelope. Sewing stores such as Hancock Fabrics offer an every day discount of 40% and also run sales where you can purchase the patterns at steep discounts, such as $1 a pattern! Worth waiting for!