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Topic: !!TUTORIAL!! Making Your Own Patterns From Existing Clothing  (Read 54781 times)
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JOCOLE: extra-long modest shirts! personalized tyvek creations (including iPod cases) and unique compact pocket mirrors. sterling silver jewelry.
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Modest clothing, tyvek wallets, recipe boxes

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« on: January 04, 2005 11:29:28 AM »

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.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2005 09:20:56 AM by JodiJean » THIS ROCKS   Logged


JOCOLE:  Extra-long modest shirts!
Personalized tyvek wallet and zipper pouches, custom recipe boxes.

« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2005 03:15:27 PM »

You totally rock. Thank you SO much!

out of town until July 10th...I will respond to any messages then.
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2005 01:36:44 AM »

  Thanks for directing me to this post!  I think I understand the just of this concept. Which is- we're trying to trace out all the pattern pieces without having to actually take apart all our favorite  clothes (cause that would totally suck!).  Am I right?  But I have a couple questions.  For example, when doing sleeves like you talked about, when you draw a line where the fold is, do you then flip the sleeve over (like the line is a mirror) and trace along the same seam to get the full size piece? And when do you trace the sleeve cap? Can you do it as you trace the first seam, and then along the soulder? I think I may be having some trouble picturing this b/c I'm not sitting in front of it, you know?  But if you understand what I'm saying and can add any advice, I'll be your best friend! Kiss
  The main thing I want to try and copy with this method-aside from EVERYTHING!!!- is a jacket I got from target.  It's like a long-ish "buffy" coat as I call them. Cause I love "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and she wears them all the time in the searies.  It's just a fitted jacket with a double-breasted type front, and a nice collar, and little side flap pockets. The one I have is done in a black corduroy cut on the bias so the stripees look cooler.  DO YOU THINK I CAN MAKE A JACKET LIKE THIS?
THANK YOU SO MUCH!  I knock, you rock.  =0)

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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2005 08:47:27 AM »

i made my own stuff doing this. i copied my favorite jacket. what you have to do, when you are ready to do the sleeve cap, is veerrrry carefully, fold/squasih the fabric of the sleeve, such that the seam of the cap is against the paper, and trace it. i have pictures somewhere i think.... probably not though. if someone wanted them, i could make pics to show y'all how to do this.

plus, i have a book on it.

pessimism: because i'd rather be pleasently surprised than horribly disapointed
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2005 03:28:02 AM »

Pictures are always good, just for a nice little visual..You'r instructions are great though!

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« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2005 12:58:25 PM »

All I can say is...... YAY!!  Grin 


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and there are people who are rich.
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2005 10:15:52 AM »

Oh, JodiJean, thanks so incredibly much. I've wanted to know how to do such things. Thanks!
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2009 03:03:28 AM »

great tute, but i totally agree pics would be good, sometimes its hard to picture things just in text, but thanks heaps
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2009 04:16:54 PM »

 Wink and  Undecided

thanks...I've been messing up material trying to do this because (as a newbie to sewing), I didn't know that I was supposed to measure the waist separately..

However, I STILL do not know how to make the "fly"/zipper part for the life of me !!!!!!!!  Undecided

I would LOVE it if you could send a pic of how you create this part...please
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2009 06:59:32 AM »

OMG! this  is such good timing, my SIL gave me her favourite shirt and asked me to make her a bunch just like it! (i was having kittens at the thouhgt of unpicking her fave shirt!)

you are fabulous! ^_^

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