How to adapt a pattern to the size

When it comes to body shape, there are two things to consider: the length of the shoulder and the amount of room available in the back. If one or the other of the lines does not correspond to its morphology, the clothing will tend to draw towards the back, especially if the model is equipped with sleeves.
To solve these problems, several types of modification are possible.

Basic material for making a transformation
To transform a pattern, it is advisable to have :

  • Adhesive tape

  • A parrot rule

  • A square

  • A graduated ruler

  • A support sheet

  • A pair of paper scissors

  • A fine point criterion/pencil


Wide/wide shoulders

In this case, the length of the front and back shoulders must be modified. This also results in a modification of the edges. 

  • On the back, draw 2 intersecting lines. The first line (called A) starts at the shoulder, about 5 cm from the armhole and runs parallel to the straight line and the middle of the back. The second line (which we call B) starts from the armhole, just above the hollow part.

  • Cut on the 2 axes, leaving 2-3 mm uncut at the end of line A, towards the armhole, so as not to completely separate the 2 parts. It is at this point that the pivot will take place.

Rotate the cut portion of the back outward to add ease to the shoulder and body or inward to remove ease from the shoulder and body.


  • Measure the distance subtracted or added along the armhole to the B line and transpose it to the shoulder. This way the armhole should retain its basic length.

  • Retrace the shoulder slope in the continuity of the part that has not been transformed.

  • Make the same changes on the front so that the shoulders are identical.


Large/weak back build

This time the shoulders and the front do not require any transformation. Only the back, at the level of the armhole, needs to be enlarged or reduced.

To do this, pivot on the back in the same way as before. Draw the line A rather in the center of the shoulder. The value added to the shoulder as a result of the pivot will be used as a clip. The shoulder length is not affected.
Retract the 2 sides of the clamp according to these indications: the clamp must be almost perpendicular to the shoulder line and measure between 6 and 8 cm long.

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