MN2106 Rowan / Sewalongs

How to lengthen or shorten a bodysuit

How to lengthen or shorten your Rowan pattern

I have a really easy set of Rowan pattern alterations for you today! I’ve had a lot of questions on how to alter this pattern for a longer torso, and the great news is it’s a very straightforward adjustment. So let’s get onto how to shorten or lengthen a bodysuit!

Click through for the steps!

How to lengthen or shorten a bodysuit // Rowan bodysuit and tee sewalong on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

The first step is to figure out how much you need to lengthen the torso by. I would also recommend tracing the pattern before making any adjustments to preserve the original pattern.

The pattern already includes lengthening/shortening lines, so once it is traced, simply cut along this line and spread the pattern by the desired amount. Place additional paper behind the pattern pieces to cover the gap, tape in place, and then true the side seams by trimming the excess paper away and ensuring your seamlines are still nice curves.

To shorten the torso you would follow the same method, but instead of spreading the pattern pieces apart, you would overlap them by the desired amount before taping and truing the seams.

Told you it was easy!

How to lengthen or shorten a tee shirt // Rowan bodysuit and tee sewalong on Megan Nielsen Design Diary

You can actually lengthen or shorten the tee variations in the exact same way, by slashing and spreading the pattern at the waistline – but I’d like to propose a simpler method for the tee. For tee variations, I would personally simply add onto the hemline. It’s faster and you can do it on the fly once your fabric is laid out, by simply cutting beyond the hemline by how much longer you need your tee. Easy peasy my dears!


We’d love to see what you’re creating from the Rowan bodysuit and tee pattern or the Rowan Curve bodysuit and tee pattern! Don’t forget to tag your creations #MNRowan and @megannielsenpatterns to share what you’ve been working on, and check out what everyone else is up to!

Don’t have the pattern yet?!

Haven't got the Rowan pattern yet? Order here!

Order Rowan today in sizes 0-20 or Curve sizes 14-30!

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Wiveka Ritzl
Wiveka Ritzl
7 years ago

I have bought this pattern and is looking forward to try it out. The pattern call for fabric with at least 40% stretch but is this both cross wise and length wise? I have measured myself from shoulder through crotch and back to the same shoulder and I am shorter than the front and back pattern pieces. I know that I have to subtract the seam allowance at the shoulder 2 x 1,5 cm but how much shall I subtract at the crotch 3 cm + an overlap? What should I aim for, matching measurements if I work with low lengthwise stretch? Negative ease only if I choose 4 way stretch fabric? Best regards Wiveka

2 years ago

I purchased the Rowan pattern last month and it doesn’t have the lengthen/shorten lines marked. Do you lengthen at the join between the top and bodysuit knickers?

2 years ago
Reply to  Valerie

Hi Valerie, you’re correct! In the updated sizing version of the pattern, the pattern is split into the bodice & bottom pieces at the original waist notch where you would slash & lengthen/shorten at. So you instead of cutting your pattern pieces, you can simply overlap or add paper between them to make the adjustments you need :) I hope that helps!