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Topic: Is it possible to make a pattern out of an existing garment without cutting it  (Read 736 times)
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Miss Lou Lou
« on: June 08, 2008 01:02:39 AM »

I have a t-shirt which fits me perfectly...never have I loved the way a t-shirt fits like I do with this one. I'd love to make a t-shirt like it (none of the store-bought patterns are quite as good) but I love it too much to cut it up and use as a pattern. Is it possible to make a pattern out of it without cutting it up and ruining it? I tried to search for similar posts but I didn't have any luck.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008 02:38:16 AM by Miss Lou Lou » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008 01:49:40 AM »

I did this with a pair of jeans once. They didn't come out exactly like the ones I copied, but I think that might have been partly because I used lighter weight denim. They were close enough though.

I sort of...flattened them out along one of the side seams (with the jeans inside out!), on top of a sheet of newspaper, and traced along that edge. Then I very carefully adjusted the position of the jeans so that they were all nice and smooth along the opposite edge (the inside leg, in this case), making sure that the edges of the jeans would line up with the edges of the pattern if they were lying flat, then traced along the inside leg. It might be tricky to do something like an armhole, but I think if you carefully lift up the sleeve, trace it with a pencil from underneath (am I even making sense?  Huh), you should get something that's close. Try it with some cheap fabric first and if you don't like the results play with it until you get it how you want it.

I'm not sure how much help this was, but I assure you it can be done  Grin
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008 01:05:18 PM »

Pretty much how she described Smiley I reccomend using heavy weights or pins to preven over shifting of your garment on your paper. If you use newsprint make sure it's old enough to not get smudges all over your tee.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008 01:18:09 PM »

Pretty much how she described Smiley I reccomend using heavy weights or pins to preven over shifting of your garment on your paper. If you use newsprint make sure it's old enough to not get smudges all over your tee.
if you turn it inside out and its not too pale, then this shouldnt be too much of a problem.  if it is pale, then you could use gift wrap!

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« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2008 12:00:58 PM »

or if you do a lot of pattern drawing, you might be able to go to your local paper, and get unprinted roll ends (that's what I do)

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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2008 06:20:30 AM »

I've done this (I usually use gift wrap-- certain Halmark types even have a 1x1" grid on the back), doing a combo of tracing the piece (as above) and using pins. When I had to trace an interior seam (say, between a sleeve and the body of the shirt) I'd trace as much as I could and then stick pins through the garment, through the wrapping paper underneath, along whatever seam I was tracing. Then I'd remove the garment and connect that pinprick dots I'd made on the wrapping paper.

Remember to add seam allowences, because especially on t-shirts they're often serged. And when in doubt, measure the areas you're trying to pattern (i.e., the distance across the shoulder, or the length of the sleeve) to make sure you've made an accurate copy. Hope this helps!

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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008 10:19:36 PM »

T shirts are really easy, because the front & back is usually exactly the same, and the shape of the sleeve-head is a mirror image.

Trace it as accurately as possible, trace the neckline, and add seam allowances. If you are fairly confident of your skills, then you could get away with a narrow allowance.

The other thing to remember is that knit fabrics often have very different stretch abilities. Use a fabric that's very similar in stretch and weight to your existing shirt, or cut out the new shirt a bit wider so you've got a bit of safety.

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