Shop Stitches

Translating Patterns for Hand Sewing


Price includes 2 hours of class.

A Virtual Class with Louisa Owen Sonstroem.

July 9, 10:00am-12:00pm CDT

Most sewing pattern instructions are intended for machine sewing. If you’re eager to stitch clothing by hand, though, you can easily translate those patterns so that they are just right for hand sewing.

Class sessions will be recorded and remain accessible online to registered students of the class for 14 days following the event.

Class sessions will be recorded and remain accessible online to registered students of the class for 4 weeks following the event.

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Louisa Owen Sonstroem will guide you through the questions, techniques, and experiments she uses to assess, plan, and convert pre-existing patterns for hand assembly.

Learn how to:
– interpret sewing pattern instructions
– diagram a hand-sewn garment by creating an annotated flat sketch
– experiment and assign the right stitches for the right places
– plan out the order of operations
– and adjust the pattern pieces as needed

This class focuses on the planning and interpreting stages. Toward the end of class, Louisa will share a few versatile, strong, useful hand-sewing stitches that will serve you well on any project. While this is not a comprehensive course in garment construction, students will come away with a clear sense of how to translate pre-existing sewing patterns for their hands, and with a beginner’s toolkit of stitches.

Special skills or knowledge needed to take this class:
All experience levels are welcome, but this class will be most useful to those who have some garment sewing experience.

Supply List
• Sewing pattern of your choice
• A few blank sheets of paper
• Sharpened pencil and eraser
• Tape
• Ruler (clear gridded ruler is especially good, but any will work)
• Paper scissors
• Smallish scraps of fabric you plan to use for the project (several 6″ x 6″ squares would work) and matching thread
• Basic hand sewing tools (needle, fabric shears, thimble, pins, iron and board)
• Optional: colored pencils or other coloring materials
• Sewing Basics: Needles, Thread, Sharp scissors, Notebook, Pen or pencil with eraser, Tape measure, Seam ripper, Pins

Additional information

Skill Level

Main Technique



Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Barbara S.
Translating a pattern for hand sewing

Useful class! I wanted to be able to sew a garment when I don't have access to a sewing machine—my machine is way too heavy to travel with. This class gave me the confidence to do just that. The section on planning the order of operations was particularly enlightening. I bought Louisa's self-published book, a meticulously written and organized guide to hand-sewing, and also have found it invaluable. Her presentation style iss low-key and accessible.