Tips for sizing up the 107 Afghan Nomad Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on April 14, 2019
1 comment

Tips for sizing up the 107 Afghan Nomad Dress

The 107 Afghan Dress is constructed primarily of rectangles, which makes it easy to alter for size and fit.  The skirt, even in its narrower Westernized version, should require no adjustment for up-sizing since it measures 105" (267cm) wide at its lower edge.  You can simply gather the skirt's upper edge more or less, as needed to attach to the bodice.

Chart of pattern piece dimensions:


Bodice Length

Bodice Width

Waistband Length

Upper sleeve at shoulder edge

Middle sleeve at upper edge
























Match width of sleeve’s lower edge











The measurements on the chart above for Small, Medium, and Large are the actual measurements of the pattern pieces themselves.  These are the sizes of the rectangular pattern pieces you will cut.  The numbers shown for XL, 2XL, and 3XL are only estimates of what the sizes of the pattern pieces should be, and should be treated as starting points to try out in paper or muslin.  A quick test run of the bodice and upper sleeve in muslin or light-weight non-woven interfacing is an easy and inexpensive way to evaluate the fit of the adjusted bodice, waistband, and upper sleeve.  Remember that the underarm gusset becomes a part of the waistband, so you will have an additional 6" (15cm) on each side of the garment (each gusset is 6" [15cm] wide where it attaches to the waistband). Note the bodice has little to no ease, as is typical of this dress.

Adding bodice length

To increase the length of the bodice, simply add to the top and bottom edges of the pattern piece A.  Since the bodice and waistband, when stitched together, will extend further down the front and back body, you will also need to add to the bottom edge of the gusset (the edge that is stitched to the skirt) so that the top of the dress fits the skirt evenly.  

Adding bodice width

The bodice and waistband widths should be the same, so if you widen the bodice piece, be sure to add the same width at each end of pattern piece B.  A widened bodice will attach to the skirt without problem, because you can simply gather the skirt less.

Adjusting sleeve to fit lengthened bodice

The upper sleeve is pleated along the top edge where it joins the bodice to form the shoulder.  The pleats in the sleeve can be made deeper or shallower to adjust to small changes in bodice length, but if you add a lot to the bodice length, be sure to add to the top edge of the upper sleeve pattern piece so that it is at least 2 to 2-1/2" (5-6.5cm) greater than the length of the bodice to allow for the pleating. The top edge of the middle sleeve should be cut to match the bottom edge of the upper sleeve, since no gathering or pleating is done on this seam. 


Traditionally, the slit opening is worn in the back (denotes back of dress). However, I have found the opening to be very comfortable to wear in the front, so that may be another fit option to consider.  Bodice pieces are the same size for front and back. 

That should be about it for adjustments for fit for this dress!  Again, traditional folk patterns are often very easy to adjust up or down.  We hope you enjoy it and tap into your creativity with this beautiful dress! 

Grading up the 128 Russian Settlers' Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on March 22, 2019

Grading up the 128 Russian Settlers' Dress

The 128 Russian Settlers' Dress is an older Folkwear pattern, and like many of our older patterns, it is only available in a fairly small size range (6 to 16, or Small to Large).  The largest size is graded for a 38" bust, 30" waist, and 40" hips - which is quite small for most American women!


However, there is LOTS of ease in this pattern, and the bust measurement is the most important, since it is the only place where the sundress and shirt are the closest to the body.

The finished measurement for the shirt, or blouse, is 57.5" at the chest and hips (which does not include the 4 inch underarm gussets on each side at chest height which add a bit more room) for all sizes. So, you can see that there is a lot of ease!

Here, I am going to show you how to grade the sundress, or sarafan, up to larger sizes.  It is quite easy!

The sundress consists of only 4 pieces - the front and back skirts (A and B), the strap (D), and the top band (C).  The front and back skirts are cut one-size-fits-all, and they are 78" wide when sewn together (so 78" wide at bust, waist, and hips).  But, the band, which the skirt is gathered into, sits above the bust, and is the most important point of adjustment for sizing. 

The band should measure the size of your upper bust measurement (the measurement around your chest above your breasts (where you want the band to sit).  Our pattern piece is sized for 30" to 38" measurements.  The band has a slight negative ease because you want the band to be snug (not tight) and allow for slight stretching.  

So, if you want to make this dress for an upper bust measurement that is larger than 38", you just need to increase the width of the band by 1/2" for each 1" you need to go up.  For instance, if you want to increase the band measurement to fit a 41" upper bust, you would increase the band width by 1.5".  Cut out the pattern piece 2 inches longer than the largest printed size, and proceed with the pattern. Since this piece is a rectangle, and cut on the fold, you add the extra width to the side with the measurements.  

The shoulder straps are fairly large for this pattern, and should fit tall and broad shouldered women, but if you want to add a few inches to the notched side to make sure they will be long enough, you can always adjust when you are attaching the straps to the dress.  

For most people, these should be your only adjustments to grade this dress up to larger sizes.  Easy peasy!


You can also see a video of how to grade this pattern up for larger sizes on our YouTube Channel.

Folkwear Patterns For All

By Molly Hamilton
on January 23, 2019

Folkwear Patterns For All

You have asked for them . . . and Folkwear has worked on getting more patterns graded to larger sizes into the mix.  Many people are surprised by how many plus-sized patterns we have!  We have graded some patterns up, produced patterns in larger sizes, and worked to make sure everyone who sews might be able to use some Folkwear patterns.  Including patterns for women (and men) of all sizes is important to Folkwear. 

We have grouped our patterns below into patterns made in just one size (one-size-fits-all), patterns that go up to Misses Extra Large (XL or size 22-24), 2XL (or size 26-28), and 3XL (size 30-32).  Most of these are sized are according to our own grade rule, though some of the early patterns are sized according to height, or were labeled slightly differently.  

Patterns with an (*) beside the name are also sized for men, which means they have been graded up a bit farther than the misses sizes, depending on the pattern.

For a PDF version of this chart - for downloading or printing - click here.  Note: this chart is not as up-to-date at the list below.

To see our grade rule (sizing chart), click here.  

One Size (check pattern for finished measurements):

132 Moroccan Burnoose*

150 Hungarian Szur*

151 Japanese Hakama & Kataginu*

152 Scottish Kilt*

207 Kinsale Cloak

271 Sunset Wrap 

Patterns that go up to XL (or size 22-24):

112 Japanese Field Clothing*

113 Japanese Kimono*

131 Tibetian Chupa & Skirt

133 Belgian Military Chief's Jacket*

135 Jewels of India (PDF pattern)

137 Australian Drover's Coat*

139 Vietnamese Ao Dai

140 Flamenco Dress & Practice Skirt

141 Korean Han-Bok

145 Chinese Pajamas*

153 Siberian Park

202 Victorian Shirt*

219 Intimacies

231 Big Sky Riding Skirt

254 Swing Coat

255 Swing Suit

261 Paris Promenade Dress

263 Countryside Frock Coat*

264 Monte Carlo Dress

503 Poiret Cocoon Coat

Patterns that go to 2XL:

104 Egyptian Shirt 

108 Turkish Dancer

111 Nepali Blouse 

116 Shirts of Ukraine and Russia*

117 Croatian Shirt*

119 Sarouelles

120 Navajo Blouse and Skirt

126 Vests of Greece and Poland

130 Australian Bush Outfit*

135 Jewels of India (PDF pattern, Kurta Shirt)

143 Japanese Michiyuki

144 Tribal Style Belly Dancer

204 Missouri River Boatman's Shirt*

240 Rosie the Riveter

242 Rodeo Cowgirl Jacket

243 Rodeo Cowgirl Skirt

251 Varsity Jacket

252 Beach Pyjamas

253 Vintage Bathing Costume

256 At The Hop (1950's)

264 Monte Carlo Dress

266 Greek Island Dress

508 Traveling Suit

Patterns up to 3XL (or size 30-32)

121 Guatemalan Gabacha

122 Hong Kong Cheongsam

124 Bolivian Milkmaid's Jacket

134 South Asian Tops & Wraps

142 Old Mexico Dress

157 Moroccan Djellaba

203 Edwardian Underthings

205 Gibson Girl Blouse

209 Walking Skirt

210 Armistice Blouse

215 Empire Dress

223 A Lady's Chemise

227 Edwardian Gown 

247 Lindy Shirt Dress

249 1930's Day Dress

250 Hollywood Pants 

267 M' Lady's Corset

268 Metropolitan Suit

270 Metro Middy Blouse