How to Read a Pattern

Learn everything that is involved with using vintage, modern, and downloadable patterns so you can feel confident creating new projects from patterns

When you sew your first pattern it can be labeled "easy", but then you open it up and it is anything but "easy". This class will help you break down everything that is in a pattern. To cover the wide range of patterns available, we'll review vintage, modern, and downloadable patterns.

What You'll Learn

You will NOT be making a garment in this class, but learning the language and nuances of patterns.

  • Pattern numbers
  • Line drawings
  • Consider style variations
  • Check for all pattern sizes included
  • Fabric suggestions
  • Notions needed
  • Fabric amount
  • Finished garment measurements
  • Cutting correct size
  • Finding correct size
  • Measurements (bust for tops/dresses, hip for pants, waist for skirt)
  • Pattern pieces
  • Pattern placement on material
  • Grainline
  • Cut on fold
  • Cut mirrored
  • Notches
  • Darts
  • Pleats
  • Marks
  • Pinning fabric to pattern
  • Directional fabric
  • Plaids/stripes
  • Right Sides Together (RST) / Wrong Sides Together (WST)
  • Legends
  • Pinning for sewing
  • Cut
  • Ironing pattern
  • Grading



Materials to Bring

  • Pattern examples will be provided
  • You don't need to bring your sewing machine
  • Bring something to take notes - lots of information will be covered


Public Class

At locations around Austin
See available dates & times below
$45 / person
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Private Class

When and Where You Want
Starting Prices / Person:
1 = $35 / hour
2+ = $55 / person
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1 x 2 hour session


In the meantime, check out options for private sewing classes to learn how to make this project.

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Private Group Classes
If this class isn't currently scheduled, or available at a time or place that's convenient for you, check out the private sewing class options. Ronkita Design classes can be scheduled as private classes for 1 person, or get even better rates for groups of 2 or more, and at a time and location that works best for you! Learn More

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About the Instructor

Vanessa has 18+ years of experience teaching adults and children. She was an instructor at the Stitch Lab where she taught intro and specialty sewing classes, gave private lessons, hosted parties, and ran summer camps. In addition to sewing, she has also taught art, English and grammar to children as young as two all the way through high school-aged kids. Her teaching experience extends overseas as well when Vanessa was in the Peace Corps and she taught grades 1-12, and ran clubs and summer camps. Vanessa has taught adults and kids of all ages, and especially likes seeing how everyone applies their newfound sewing skills to express themselves.

Vanessa is a full-time seamstress, working with clients on a wide variety of custom projects and production, that helps to keep her current with the latest sewing trends and technologies. She is also a machine service technician and has expert knowledge on a wide range of sewing machines. This experience is shared with her students by showing them how to properly use and maintain their sewing machine.

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Custom Sewing Services

Custom Sewing

Any of the items made in our classes can also be made custom for you. We specialize in creating custom clothing, decor, stuff for pets, and more.

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Your one stop shop for sewing and creative supplies

Request custom projects, or contact Ronkita Design with any questions, comments or custom orders at: 512-630-2115 /