What is Truing Meaning in Sewing? How to True?

Last Updated on February 5, 2024

Hello, I’m Melinda from The Sewing Stuffs, and today we will explore pattern cutting with a focus on a term that might sound unfamiliar to some: truing. Truing, or to true something, is a crucial step in pattern drafting and amending existing patterns.

Here, we’ll explore what truing means, why it’s essential, and when and how to apply it to your sewing projects.

Truing Meaning in Sewing

What is Truing Meaning in Sewing?

Truing in sewing refers to the process of checking and adjusting stitching lines, seams, and design details to ensure accurate alignment in pattern drafting or modifications, ensuring a smooth assembly during garment construction.

The term Truing is commonly used in pattern cutting, specifically when drafting your own patterns or modifying existing ones. Essentially, it involves checking and ensuring that all stitching lines match, guaranteeing that the garment can be seamlessly assembled.

This meticulous process extends to checking various design details, such as the proper insertion of sleeves into armholes and verifying that elements like darts are accurately measured.

Why is Truing Important?

Truing plays a crucial role in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of your sewing patterns. Whether you’re creating a pattern from scratch or making adjustments to an existing one, truing ensures that the different components of the pattern align perfectly. This includes seams, darts, and any design details, ultimately facilitating a smoother and more precise sewing process.

When to Use Truing?

If you’re drafting your patterns from a block or sloper, truing is a necessary step before moving on to the actual garment construction. It involves checking that all seams, darts, and design elements fit together seamlessly.

On the other hand, if you’re modifying an existing pattern—whether it’s a small adjustment like grading between sizes or more significant changes like altering the length, shoulder position, or dart placement—truing is essential to ensure that the amended pattern pieces still align and can be assembled accurately.

How to True Something

Truing in sewing involves measuring the lengths of dart legs or seams and ensuring they match. The process may also include “walking the seams together” to confirm alignment, ensuring precision in pattern drafting or adjustments.

Truing involves measuring the length of dart legs and seams, ensuring they match. Another technique, “walking the seams together,” is used to confirm the alignment of pattern elements. 

Truing for Pattern Adjustment

Truing, in the context of sewing, ensures that the lines on your pattern pieces are accurate, smooth, and true to your body measurements. The process can be applied when either lengthening or shortening a pattern to achieve a precise fit.

1. Shortening a Pattern

  • Colleen demonstrates shortening a trouser leg pattern in the tutorial. The key is to find the lengthening and shortening lines on the pattern.
  • You’ll adjust the pattern accordingly depending on your body shape, whether your thighs are slimmer or larger.
  • If your thighs are slimmer, you cut away the excess fabric, truing the line by tapering it smoothly.
  • Conversely, if your thighs are larger, you measure from a different point, extend the line, and then true it to maintain a balanced pattern.

2. Lengthening a Pattern

  • The same truing technique applies when lengthening a pattern. While the tutorial focuses on shortening, the process is mirrored when you need to add length.
  • Even though the tutorial doesn’t explicitly cover lengthening, understanding the principles discussed can be applied to this scenario.

3. Folding and Truing

  • Folding the pattern is a critical step in truing. Whether you’re shortening or lengthening, the fold should be precise, maintaining the straight-of-grain line.
  • Colleen emphasizes the importance of truing the line to avoid any distortions in the final garment.

4. Upper Part of the Leg Adjustment

  • Colleen also briefly touches on adjusting the upper part of a trouser leg pattern, just below the crotch area.
  • Depending on your body measurements, you fold the pattern, true the line, and ensure the adjustments align with the grain line for a symmetrical outcome.


Understanding truing in sewing is a fundamental aspect of pattern cutting, ensuring that your carefully designed or modified patterns come together seamlessly during the sewing process.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewist, incorporating truing into your workflow will enhance the accuracy of your creations and contribute to a more satisfying sewing experience. Stay with us for upcoming tutorials where I’ll dive deeper into the techniques of truing darts and seams.