Sewing pattern guide
STOFF & STIL's sewing pattern guide - How to start
Read time: 8-10 min.
Get tips to your STOFF & STIL patterns in our sewing guide. Get off to a flying start - beginner or experienced - everyone can get inspired at STOFF & STIL
How to choose the right STOFF & STIL sewing pattern
When you have decided on a project, you need to find a suitable sewing pattern. Each pattern contains one size.
Check on the back of each pattern to see the degree of difficulty and how much fabric and which accessories you will need.
All the pattern pieces are cut in non-woven interlining so your pattern is hard-wearing. This means that you can use the same pattern again and again.
If you are unsure which pattern to use for your sewing project, feel free to ask in our stores or contact Customer Services. Our staff is on hand to help you get off to a flying start with your sewing project. They are happy to share their experiences and tricks with you.
How to find the right size
Before you buy your sewing pattern, you need to know your size and measurements. To get correct measurements, measure close to the body, preferably wearing only underwear. Once you have taken your measurements, you can find your size in our size chart. You can also have your measurements taken at one of our stores where our staff can help you to measure correctly.
Tip: Think of your sewing project as a whole when choosing size.
How to use STOFF & STIL sewing patterns
Once you have chosen your sewing pattern and bought the materials, it's time to get started.
Some of our patterns include several variants, e.g. a dress can be made shorter as a blouse, and trousers can be made in different lengths and with various details. If there are several different models in the pattern, they may require different accessories.
When unpacking the pattern, it’s a good idea to write the piece numbers on the pattern pieces. The pattern shows how to lay up pattern pieces on the fabric. Please note that you should iron interlining onto the wrong side of pattern pieces shaded in grey.
NB: Always place the pattern pieces on the right side of your fabric. Seam allowances are included.
When you sew in a two-way stretch fabric (e.g. chiffon), the stretch must be on the lengthwise grain. If not, the drape of your garment will be incorrect. Similarly, you should also take great care that your fabric pieces face in the same nap direction on the fabric. This applies for example, when you work with velvet.
How to read STOFF & STIL sewing patterns
There are many sewing terms printed on STOFF & STIL sewing patterns, e.g. drill holes, grain, notch and cutting line. To understand what these terms mean, please read below.
First of all, the pattern instructs you to mark all the drill holes. These are circular holes that indicate the grain line. Drill holes are also used to mark the position of pockets, pleats, darts, etc.
The drill holes in our patterns are either printed black dots or holes punched in the interlining. Drill holes help you to position your pattern pieces parallel to the grain. You can use tailor’s chalk to mark drill holes on the fabric indicating the position of darts, pleats, pockets, etc.
The lengthwise grain is parallel with the selvedges of your fabric. The selvedge is the woven/knitted edge on both sides of the fabric. It is important that you take the grain of your fabric into account to avoid your garment from skewing/warping.
The two drill holes that mark the grain should be equidistant from the selvedge. If your pattern piece is slightly skewed, you can easily adjust it. See how in our video.
Some interlining pattern pieces have a snip or snips on the edges. A notch indicates either where to turn up the hem or where two pieces of fabric should be aligned to make a seam. Match up the notches by positioning them precisely over each other as you sew garment pieces together.
When cutting your fabric, cut notches where there is a snip in the pattern piece.
Other pattern pieces
Some pattern pieces are not supplied as interlining pattern pieces, you just measure, draw and cut them yourself. However, the measurements you need to make these pattern pieces are shown on the garment drawing so that you do not forget to cut them.
Lay the pattern piece on the right side of the fabric. Pin all the way around before cutting so that the pattern piece does not slide. If your fabric is fine or slippy, transfer the contours of and markings on the pattern piece onto the fabric, using e.g. tailor’s chalk or a marker pen. Some pattern pieces may be grey. These pattern pieces should be cut in interlining (in addition to fabric).
Drawing up patterns yourself
This icon indicates that the pattern exists in paper form and that you may need to draw it out yourself. For best results, cut carefully and precisely.
Once you have drawn up and cut out your pattern pieces, the step-by-step sewing instructions guide you through your sewing project to ensure that you succeed.
Unleash your creativity
Once you have chosen your sewing pattern, you can choose to sew step by step — or let your imagination take over and, of course, you can combine the step-by-step instructions with your imagination to make many exciting clothing creations.
Give free rein to your creativity and make your mark on your sewing project. Stand out in the crowd, you can often make a smart statement by adding an iron-on or sew-on patch. Why not add piping or decorative ribbon to put the finishing touches to your dress? You can mix and match our haberdashery and fabrics to achieve precisely the look you want.
You may even be fortunate enough to have a personal helper to help you with your sewing project, someone who can inspire you and give useful input for the final design. Meet with girlfriends, bring along your sewing machines, grab a cup of coffee and have a creative afternoon where you all can enjoy your sewing pattern. If you have come up with an idea that you are unsure of, do not hesitate to ask at our stores or call Customer Services. They can help you with advice and guidance, that’s for sure! On our Instagram profile, @STOFFSTIL you will also find lots of inspiration for your projects.
A few tips before you start working on your sewing pattern
Before you start working on your STOFF & STIL sewing pattern, for best results you should choose the right fabric for your sewing project. For example, if you are going to reupholster a sofa, it is important that you choose furniture upholstery fabric. The right choice of fabric ensures that your design is attractive and durable. If you are going to sew a bag, you will also need a durable fabric that can withstand the weight of all the things you will keep in your bag.
- Choose the right fabric for your project
- At what temperature do you expect to wash your garment? You should decide this before purchasing your fabric
- Before cutting and sewing, wash your fabric. It may shrink in the first wash. If necessary, iron your fabric after washing
- Consider whether you want to follow the pattern from A to Z or whether you want to add small details of your own
- If you are sewing for a child, consider whether your garment should allow for the child to grow
- Make sure you have everything you need for your sewing project
- Choose the right needle for your sewing project
If you have any questions about the use of STOFF & STIL sewing patterns or if you have got stuck in a sewing project, feel free to ask in our stores or contact our Customer Services. Our staff are on hand to give advice and guidance.