A refashion, an old 80’s pattern, and a tutorial on how to make your pattern narrower

While I’m enjoying the remaking of scarves, here’s another! Oops forgot a before photo, but it was just like this scarf!! This refashion combines the remake of a scarf, 61cm x 186cm, with the reuse of an 80’s pattern I have which was a copy of a “Pineapple” sweatshirt cardigan, from my days in industry!

The original pattern is cut in brown paper, which is what we always used for cutting patterns. On first look I’m thinking it’s too wide for my fabric. The checks HAVE to match, so the pattern needs to be altered so that I can fit the pattern pieces across the restricted fabric piece. So I’m going to make the theme of this post a How To make your front and back pattern pieces Narrower. To make them wider would simply be the opposite!? Before this I want to change the 80’s pattern shoulder line. To my eye it is too square so I’m going to reduce it from 0 at the neck to 4cm at the shoulder, front and back, the reason being that this will still look like a dropped sleeve, but we are, after all made up of rounded body parts and not a series of square or rectangular shapes, so I prefer to follow the curves!

The illustrations below show the correct way to reduce the width of these simple shaped pattern pieces.


Matching the sleeve head to the new shoulder line of the front and back pattern pieces. The alteration required on the sleeve is too reduce the armhole measurement by 8cm from the sleeve centre line, 4cm either side, and take it to 0cm at the hem edge.


The illustrations below show an alternative, slightly faster way to reduce the widths.


And finally, the way I did it, this is the faster, and lazier, way to do it!?  The white pattern is one I recently drafted for my accidental Christmas jumper, the first remake from a scarf. I have already added a collar to this pattern, and filled in the neckline for another remake to be tried at a later date.


The original length is fine. The width of the body pattern pieces are 34cm, the fabric width is 61cm, so I need to loose 3.5cm from each of the front and back 1/4 panel pieces. Below are the images of the old and new patterns that I am going to use together.

I’m usually in such a hurry to get things made that I matched the centre lines of the two patterns, pinned them in place and made the adjustments using the two of them. Using the new shoulder line and the body shape of the 80’s pattern, with the front and back neckline’s of the new pattern, for the addition of the collar!

Mark the same point on each shoulder line, and draw it in parallel to the centre front and back. Measure across the 3.5cm and draw in this second line. With the lines drawn in, I am ready to fold the excess of 3.5cm away. I pinned the folds in place. Now this is really when I should redraw the entire new pattern, but hey ho! Maybe I’ll do that another day!

Now the pattern is ready to cut out from the scarf. I cut the front pieces without the facings, to fit in the scarf width, but had enough leftovers to cut the facing separately, but still matching. The back was cut on the fold.

Comparing the two sleeves, apart from the sleeve length, which I will shorten, I’m going to use the original sleeve pattern.

The original 80’s pattern has 2 large patch pockets, but my limited scarf fabric means I have to choose between these and the collar. Collar wins and if I have enough fabric scraps I’ll add little welt pockets. I have a favourite way of making these up but will post about that another day!

These images show the welt pockets and because I wanted to keep the original length of the pattern I had to add a false hem. I used fabric from a vest top, to create this, and in fact because the scarf fabric is so soft, the jersey hem gives it a good bit of stability without being too firm!



10 thoughts on “A refashion, an old 80’s pattern, and a tutorial on how to make your pattern narrower

  1. Since I’m a chronic under estimator Linda, this is great. I love tutorials like this, the pattern making is such a great reminder that I am doing it right… or wrong spending on the day!! Perhaps you need a tutorials tab now? Thank you, than you.

    Liked by 1 person

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