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Laurie van Jonsson: How To Alter A Brief Pattern Into A New Pattern

by lmardling | 31st March, 2017

Here at Morplan we are committed to supporting small and independent businesses as well as big brands and like to go that extra mile for those who need it. We are launching a regular guest blog feature where owners of such businesses can share their tips, tricks, thoughts and creations with you through our blog.

The below post has been written by Laurie van Jonsson, a lingerie designer and author.

If you’re trying to make a new pattern, it makes sense to alter a similar one that you already have, rather than draft out a brand-new pattern.
This tutorial will show you how to take a standard brief into a boy shape brief.
The steps are shown in series, rather than separate pictures, so you can print them out and have them as a reference.

With five steps, you can have a new pattern.

You have two ways of altering an existing pattern, one would be making up the brief in a light colour fabric, then trying it on and drawing on your new style lines, then cutting along the new style lines and taking a new pattern from your pieces. The pros with this is that you know exactly where your new style lines are, as sometimes drawing on a flat pattern, lines can look correct but when placed on the body look completely incorrect.

The second way would be drafting your new style lines directly onto the pattern then making up a new garment for fits and altering where necessary.
If I’m adding complicated style lines, I often go for the first method, but over the years I’m confident to alter the patterns.

We will be going over the second method as it’s quite a simple change we are making.

Step One
Draw around the pattern that you want to alter.

Step Two
Draw a line from leg to waist at the mid-leg point this is usually approx. 10cm from the side seam.

Step Three
Cut around the brief pattern along the new style line, so you have two pieces. (Front piece and side piece) ….

…. Next
Draw around your new pieces, leaving enough room to add 6mm seam allowance.

Step Four
Add 6mm along the style line. This is your seam allowance so when you sew you end up with the correct size brief. *Note every style line needs seam allowance adding…..

…. Next
Give this pattern a new style number or name, and add any other information you need onto the pattern, it can get quite confusing when you have a lot of pattern pieces all look similar. Cut out the new pattern.

Step Five
Place side piece front seam (where your new style line is) 1.2cm over the front piece (this is your seam allowance tolerance) to check the curve at the leg. Often when you add you seam allowance curves can become distorted and instead of a nice leg curve, you may end up with your seams coming to point. If your pattern has gone to a point, then re-draw your leg curve back in.


Laurie van Jonsson has been designing lingerie for seventeen years, she had the rare opportunity to gain her first job within a UK manufacturer designing for the UK high street, learning how manufacturers work first-hand. She then went on to produce her own label “Vanjo” which specialised in larger cups and smaller backs.

Heading back into being a freelance designer, to follow her second passion of travelling, van Jonsson wrote the book “How to become a Lingerie Designer” to inspire and give guidance to those who long to enter the industry.

Fast forward to present day and three more books have been released, all written from the perspective within the lingerie trade, the books and the website delivers patterns, advice and tips on creative and technical design.


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