How to Enlarge an Infant Pattern

Babies come into this world little, but some do grow more quickly than others, leaving us searching for baby patterns that will fit them. This article from designer Jeannie Downs Baumeister will show you how to enlarge an infant pattern, resulting in a size 12-month pattern. The baby dress shown here is a sweet recreation of an antique. This article appears in Sew Beautiful: Heirloom Sewing Favorites for Summer; check out this special edition for additional instructions on creating the tucks and embroidery as shown on the garment here.

enlarge an infant pattern

Learn how to enlarge your favorite infant pattern!

Materials (for garment as shown)

  • Pattern
  • Fabric
    • Blue Ultra Batiste (yardage as required on pattern)
  • Trims
    • 7/8 yd of baby entredeux for neck and sleeves
    • 1-3/8 yd of 1/2-inch-wide lace edging for neck and sleeves
  •  Notions
    • Four pearl buttons for back
    • Zwicky Embroidery Floss – ecru

How to Draft It


1. Locate on paper pattern pieces from View 4 front, back and sleeve.

2. Use a thin 2- x 18-inch ruler and a mechanical pencil.

3. Trace required pattern pieces onto tracing or pattern paper. Never alter original pattern piece. Accuracy in tracing is important.

Redrafting Pattern Front and Back

You will enlarge the pattern at five points, and these are labeled as A through E in figure 1. Use the figure 1 as a reference and follow the steps below. The illustration shows the original pattern line in black and the new pattern lines creating the larger size in blue. Modify the front and back in the same manner. The dress length should be from 15- to 16-inches when measured from the back neck if the baby is 12 months old. If the baby is 6 months old, a longer dress or gown is fine. Remember that a baby who is beginning to toddle needs a shorter dress length than one who is still in the cradle.

enlarge an infant pattern

Refer to figure 1

1.  Neck – Move neck out 1/8 inch at shoulder (point A).

2.  Shoulder – Move shoulder up 1/4 inch (point B).

3.  Shoulder – Move shoulder out 5/8 inch (point C).

4.  Armhole – Bring armhole down 1/2 inch (point D).

5.  Side seam- Move side seam out 5/8 inch (point E).

Redrafting Sleeve

To keep the baby look in the sleeve, do not add to the underarm seam to enlarge it. Add 1/2 inch to the sleeve bottom.

Refer to figure 2

1. Fold sleeve in half to find center and crease. Cut along crease line.

2. Spread sleeve apart 3/4 inch (spread sleeve apart more if extra fullness is desired) taping it to a piece of paper. Connect two halves of pattern.

3. Measure down 1/2 inch at bottom center of sleeve and mark for new sleeve length. Draw a curved line to bring new sleeve length up to either side of sleeve, allowing for seam allowance.

4. A curved ruler or a French rule is helpful when redrafting a pattern. Increase entredeux at neck to between 12-3/4 and 13 inches and at the sleeves to between 7-3/4 and 8 inches. Remember it is always best to measure your child as they differ in size.

Instructions and templates for creating the tucks and embroidery on this baby dress are included in Sew Beautiful: Heirloom Sewing Favorites for Summer.

Jeannie Downs Baumeister is the designer of the pattern line The Old Fashioned Baby and owner of the Old Fashioned Baby Heirloom Sewing Shop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She also teaches fine heirloom sewing and embroidery. Visit her online at and at her blog,

Jeannie has more great ideas to show you. Click here for her tutorial on creating a shell hem by machine!

Plus, check out the products below for more heirloom sewing inspiration:

Sew Beautiful: Heirloom Sewing Favorites for Summer is filled with more than 40 sewing ideas with five full-sized patterns!

Fall in love with Sew Beautiful magazine all over again with this special issue celebrating 25 years of heirloom instruction.


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