Making Your Own Patterns From Existing Clothing -- Tutorial
Well I have been making my own patterns from existing clothing for years, and I've decided to post a tutorial on doing so. Why keep all this knowledge to myself? I'll start with a pair of pants ...
Starting on the inseam, pin along the seam -- so the outer edge is where the seam line is of the front and back pieces. While making sure the leg of the pants lay flat pin along the other edge of the pants (yes the back side is larger than the front side, so the seam will not go along the edge by the pins).
I like working on a large cork board, but you can also do it over dense carpet just be careful not to rip the paper.
[FRONT SIDE] Lay the pants down on paper, FLAT -- make sure that they are laying flat, if not your pattern will not be accurate. (I use medical examination table paper) and weigh them down so they don't shift while you work. Using another pin make pin pricks in the paper along the inseam, and down along the hem. Then I use the pin to push through the seamline along the outseam, across the top where the pants meet the waistband, and down the front where the fly is.
[BACK SIDE] Lay the pants down on paper and weigh them down so they don't shift while you work. Using another pin make pin pricks in the paper along the inseam, and down along the hem, then around where the outseam should be. Then use the pin to push through the seamline along the top where the pants meet the waistband, and down the back where the seam is. I also mark where the pocket placement is (push pin in at each corner) so I have those marking later. Then turn over the pants and measure how much more you need to add to the outseam (because it fold over to the front of the pants) and add that width.
Now that you have two separate pieces for the front and back of the pants you can add a seam allowance along the edges, and a hem allowance along the hem (I use 1/2" along the seams, and add 1 1/2" for the hem -- but you can do what you prefer to use)
To make the waistband, measure the length and width and mark that on your pattern paper, doubling the width (because it fold over -- front and back) and add seam allowances.
Starting on the inseam, pin along the seam -- so the outer edge is where the seamline is of the front and back of the piece. While making sure that it is flat pin along the fold of the sleeve. Lay the sleeve over paper and weigh it down. Using another pin make pricks in the paper along the seam line. I also draw a line (where the fold on the sleeve is, for a reference point), then turn the sleeve over and do the same to the other side of the sleeve. Make sure you mark which side of the sleeve is the front and which is the back. (It would be horrible to set in the sleeve backwards, oops )
Etc. If you have any questions or this doesn't make sense let me know, and I'll try to explain better.
Hope this helps. I'll try to take some pictures tonight, and try to make the tutorial more clear, after work -- we'll see, i'm also trying to get my own website up and running, which is taking over my nights after work -- i'll try to do it tho.