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August 04, 2017 3 min read

Have you ever thought that you would love to be able to clone your favorite dress or pair of jeans? Well, you can! It is possible to re-create your favorite garments if you first learn how to make a pattern from an existing garment. Learning this skill allows you to recreate your favorite garments.

If you love sewing, then you have a great motivation to recreate your favorite garment, rather than trying to create a new pattern. Doing this takes you the same amount of time. There are various methods that you can use for making your pattern. For example, if you want to recreate a simple knit top, all you have to do is trace it directly on wax paper. If you want to duplicate garments that have multiple elements, for example, a blouse or a jacket, then you need to use the “pin-through” technique. For jeans, you can trace various pieces on silk organza. However, no matter what method you choose, here are a few tips to help you learn how to create a pattern from an existing garment.

In this tutorial, we’ll help you learn six basic tips that allow you to turn your favorite garments in a pattern. For the tutorial, you need to use a T-shirt. So let’s start.

  1. Take a T-shirt that you want to copy.

If you want to copy a knit T-shirt, you need to place it flat on a work surface and trace the seam lines. It is a great choice to start learning this with a knit T-shirt because knits are a bit forgiving in fit. Use wax paper and a serrated tracing wheel to mark your T-shirt’s edges. Once you finish tracing the edges, add seam allowances.

  1. Use a fabric that is similar in type to the garment you want to copy.

You need to acknowledge that the original maker of the garment that you want to copy probably matched the type and weight of the fabric with the design, so if you want to get the best result, then you should choose a similar fabric to the original garment. You should especially pay attention when working with denim because stretch denim has a different fit than regular denim.

  1. Add lots of markings.

Make markings on your pattern, exactly as you would do for a new pattern that you create. For example, note the places where seams intersect, pocket placements, the end points of the collars. Label your pieces and add the grain lines.

  1. Duplicate curves using a flexible ruler.

Use a flexible ruler to recreate the curve of the seams exactly. To check your tracing and make the necessary adjustments, lay the ruler on the pattern.

  1. Divide your garment into two halves.

It isn’t required to trace the entire garment. Instead, you can run a thread line along the center back. This helps you create pattern pieces that you can use on the fold. To check the dimensions and make the necessary adjustments, you are recommended to compare your finished pattern pieces to both sides of your garment.

  1. Trace and adjust for fit.

Finish all your pattern pieces and then sew a muslin to test the accuracy of the pattern. If your pattern is not the same size with the original garment, copy it and then do the necessary adjustments on your muslin. Once your muslin fits nicely, you can make the adjustments for size on your pattern pieces.

Now you know the basic steps that you need to follow in order to copy your favorite garment and turn it into a pattern. From now on, you can recreate all your favorite garments, to have them in various colors and patterns.