no, really! i know it sounds crazy, but hear me out.
i saw this in a recent(ish?) issue of threads
magazine. it seemed like one of those 'd'oh! why didn't i think of that!?' moments - using masking tape to create a pattern from ready-made clothing! easy, right? yes, it actually is easy. check it:
the culprit: my favorite pair of gym shorts. ooh, i love the neon yellow, but i really wanted some black ones. i started by laying them flat and covering the fabric between the seams with painter's tape. i think you can use any tape that is sturdy and doesn't leave a residue, i just had painter's tape laying around
anyway, make sure you overlap the tape a generous amount - you want to make sure it all stays together!
after i finished covering the first piece, i caaaaarefully peeled the whole thing off (this is where overlapping counts!) and slapped it on a piece of paper. obviously, my paper is small (i just use sheets of copy paper for patterns
hurr hurr) so i frankenstein'd that shizz with more paper and tape.
i then traced around the pattern piece and cut it out. i also labeled it because i am a ditz and tend to get confused with pattern piece look-alikes
repeat the same process with all other expanses of fabric between seams. shorts are easy - these only have two pieces. front and back, no problem! i didn't add a seam allowance; i usually do that when i'm cutting. you can if you want, though.
for the first time, it is a LOT easier if you make this out of similar fabric to what the original garment is constructed from. in my case - stretch knit with only a lil' bit of stretch. had i decided to work with cotton, i would have had to adjust the sizing of the pattern since the fabric doesn't lay the same way.
aaaaand here is what i got from my new pattern skillz:
GYM SHORTS, ALL RIGHT!!
mine have an elastic waistband (which reminds me... i forgot to buy more elastic while i was at the store. crap.) and the bottom hem is serged. i didn't bother with the white piping that the yellow shorts have because, frankly, i'm lazy and i just wanted black shorts.
lovin' these black shorts, though!
so there ya have it! tape is AWESOME for easy-peasy pattern making - i can't wait to try it with tshirts and dress bodices OMG. sure beats drafting, or - my personal favorite - laying tracing paper over the seams and drawing over it with a pencil
i hope this baby tut helps someone!! let me know what you think