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Sun, Jul 09


Ace Makerspace

IN PERSON: How to Read and Alter Sewing Patterns

One reason to sew your own clothes is so you can make them just the way you like them but ... that is easier said than done. In this class, Beth Galvin will show you how to select the right top, shirt or dress pattern and then alter it to fit the size and shape of your shoulder, bust and back.

This class is SOLD OUT! Please contact us if you would like to be put on the waitlist.
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IN PERSON: How to Read and Alter Sewing Patterns
IN PERSON: How to Read and Alter Sewing Patterns

Time & Location

Jul 09, 2023, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM PDT

Ace Makerspace, 6050 Lowell St #214, Oakland, CA 94608, USA

About the Event

This will be a fast-paced, busy class, packed with a lot of information. In the first part of this class, you'll learn everything you ever wanted to know about sewing patterns. In the 2nd half, we'll shift our focus to learn how to do basic alterations to a top, shirt or dress pattern to fit you through the bodice.

Everything You Need to Know About Sewing Patterns!

Does reading a sewing pattern leave you dazed and confused? There's a ton of information on the pattern envelope (or website) and even more inside. Beth will  start by explaining what to look for in a good sewing pattern, how to choose your correct pattern size (it's probably not the size you buy at the store), and how various pattern brands handle sizing differently. She'll walk you through how to untangle all those lines and decode the crazy symbols. Last but not least, Beth will talk about one of the most important elements for garment success, the fabric choice. 

Fit to Perfection! Pattern Alteration Basics for Tops, Shirts and Dresses

Everyone is different. Big or small, high or low, broad or skinny, most of us need to adjust sewing patterns to better fit our body. Learn the basics of to how to alter a top, shirt or dress pattern so it has the same shape as you do. We will discuss why you may have tight shoulders, pulling open in the front or darts in the wrong place, and see how to do common pattern adjustments to address those issues. This class will be a workshop-style class including both demonstration and hands-on practice using half scale sample patterns so that you can get familiar with doing adjustments. 

On your sample pattern, you will learn how to:

  • Measure yourself and determine your pattern starting size
  • Check your shoulder slope and compare to pattern
  • Adjust the bust/chest on a variety of styles
  • Do an adjustment for full or small bust
  • Add, raise, lower or remove bust darts

This is a pattern reading and alteration class - you will not be sewing in class. Also, while the information Beth shares about pattern reading is applicable to all kinds of patterns, the alterations discussed will only be for the bodice area of shirts, tops and dresses, not pants or other garments.

Skill level: ✂️✂️

You have a few projects under your belt. You've sewn some garments, have used a sewing pattern and you're ready to learn more advanced basics.

Supplies: This is not a sewing class. You will receive a supply list when you sign up and Beth will provide you with half size sample patterns in class to practice making alterations.

About the instructor: 

Beth Galvin started sewing at age 7 and can sew everything from casual knit tops to tailored jackets to over the top party dresses. She has a popular sewing blog, Sunnygal Studio where she shares her tips and tricks and she also blogs for Craftsy. Beth loves to help people get the pattern they love to fit the way they want. She is brilliant at adding stylish little details that make your projects look professional and special, but what's even better is that she has figured out how to make it easier! One of her favorite things is to teach you the tips and shortcuts that will make your sewing faster and also more fun. Sign up for one of Beth's classes and let her teach you how satisfying it can be to sew great clothes that make you look great!


We will be meeting at Ace Makerspace in their nicely outfitted sewing studio at 6050 Lowell St, #206, Oakland CA 94608. Located where Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville come together and just a short hop from Ashby BART. Ace Makerspace is a nonprofit whose mission is bringing people together to create, learn and solve life’s challenges with an amazing array of tools, technology, and project-based education. All in inclusive spaces, serving everybody in Oakland and beyond. You are required to open a free guest account prior to class.

Cancellation Policy:

Class fees are non-refundable. However you may transfer the class to a friend if you let us know in advance (please ask them to set up a guest account at Ace Makerspace).


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