Tutorial: How to read the back of a home sewing pattern

Some of my favorite vintage patterns

Sooooo hard to read the back of a pattern for the first time. The guidance of a patient friend, relative, teacher or fabric store clerk can be invaluable.  This week I wanted to try to help unveil the mystery with a super primitive infographic (though truthfully, “primitive infographic” feels like “jumbo shrimp” to me.  I take that to mean my infographic is anything but primitive!  :)).

Simplicity #7092

I think pajama pants are a great beginner’s project.  I’ve had luck teaching with Simplicity pattern #7092 (though there are many other pajama pant patterns; this is just one I’ve used with beginners for sewing lessons).

It says it’s a one hour project- I think that’s accurate if you’re a pajama pant making machine (I sold pajama pants in the dorms in college to help pay for study abroad in Paris and have it down to an hour), but if you’re a beginning sewer, I’d plan on 2-4 hours…  A lovely afternoon!

From the front, you can see the different options inside  the pattern- they all look like a drawstring pant, at different lengths.  On the back you’ll find drawings of the garment back, along with suggested fabrics, a list of other goodies you’ll need for the project and a size chart, among things.  See below an annotated pattern back for this pair of jammie pants, or click here for a pdf with live links.

A little step-by-step - click for a pdf of the image with live links

So what do you think?  Does this help?  Have you ever had or needed help reading the back of a pattern before? Please comment below!

And if you take the plunge and make a pair of pajama pants, post a picture on LVEO’s facebook page!  🙂



About La Vie en Orange

I've been sewing since I was 4. Grandma started teaching me with Barbie and pot holder loops. Barbie had a lot of neon tube tops and mini skirts that season. :) Soon I was taking lessons and making pillows, shorts, pajama pants. Meanwhile I was flexing my entrepreneurial muscles selling homemade necklaces and hair bows at school. Fast -forward 20(!) years, and here I am. So excited to be selling eco-friendly undies and sharing my something special with the world! Thanks for stopping by! :)
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