How to Lengthen/Shorten A Pattern PieceIf a pattern has a cut line to use for adding or removing length, you can customize the garment to fit your body style. This means the designer took the time to determine for you where it is most appropriate and will not disrupt the design or the way your fabric will lay once construction is complete.
I’m using the Love Notions Ladies Hip Hop Tank for this example to lengthen. A tip for SHORTENING is at the end of this tutorial.
My chest is larger than my waist by 11 inches. Therefore, I know that I need to add at least 2” to the length of my tank. My chest will raise up the tank’s length on my body.
On the main pattern piece for the tank, you will find a scissor and dotted line indicating where to cut to lengthen or shorten.
I know I need to lengthen by 2” so I have cut on the dotted line and then squared my (now) 2 pattern pieces on my cutting mat, 2” apart.
I’ve recycled the paper that was left over from cutting out the actual pattern, turned it over so no print would show (avoiding confusion!), and placed it under my pattern pieces.
Repeat with the back pattern piece.
Tape to secure and you now have added length to your tank!
The same concept will work for shortening. Take the bottom part of the two pieces you created. Measure the length you need to REMOVE. Mark your cut lines on the bottom piece, using your cutting mat or other measuring tools. Cut on the line you just created/marked. Tape the bottom piece back to the top piece. Do the same with the back of the bodice. And you’re ready to cut your fabric!