Copying Store Bought Clothes

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Copying Store Bought Clothes


Do you have a favorite blouse, dress, or nightgown that you wish you could have a duplicate of without ripping it apart?  Well, so do I! In fact, I had several items of clothing that I wished I had two or three of. But I didn't know how to accurately make a pattern from a store-bought piece of clothing.  In fact, I had several items of clothing that I wished I had two or three of. But I didn't know how to accurately make a pattern from a store-bought piece of clothing.  

Then a friend asked me if I would be willing to make a pattern from a very unusual and expensive version of a modest bathing suit for her daughter.  She didn't want to have to buy another one. We are talking about an $85.00 bathing suit! As usual, through trial and error and a hint from a college sewing textbook, I figured out how to do it and got paid a lovely $40.00 for making a pattern off of that suit and her favorite nightgown!  Not only that, I learned a valuable new skill!As a result, I spent a month this summer sewing blouse after blouse, skirt after skirt, and even copying my very favorite worn out nightgown. 

Step 1:  Lay out the clothing item on a piece of butcher paper which is laid over a cardboard cutting board.  Flatten out the piece you want and pin it all the way through the clothing item, the freezer paper, and into the cutting board.

Step 2: Remove the pins and clothing item.

Step 3: Observe and mark all the dots left by the pin holes.
Step 4: Connect the dots! These are your seam lines.

Step 5: Measure and draw new lines  5/8" away from the seam lines you just drew. These are your cutting lines.


 Step 6. Cut out the pattern piece.
Step 7. Label the piece marking the grain line you want, how many you should cut out, and any other reminders you need. (Mark fold lines.)

Step 8: Keep laying out the piece of clothing in whatever position is necessary to get at the pattern piece you need.

Step 9: Write some instructions to your self of how to put it together. (I know...sometimes easier said than done!)

Step 10: Lay out all the pieces on some cloth from your stash that is still folded in the original 22" wide when folded manner.  Try to come up with the best possible use of the fabric while keeping the grain lines straight.

Step 11: Take a picture..and print it. This is your layout.

Step 12: Measure how much yardage it takes to lay out all of the pieces.  This is your yardage.

Step 13: Put all the pieces in a 5 x 8 manilla envelope and tape a picture of the item to the front of the envelope.   Now you have a pattern of your favorite clothing item and can use it as much as you like!


antmee said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this tutorial. You make it seem so easy! I am going to try it one day as I have lots of favourite pieces of clothing that flatter a fuller figure like mine but can never find the same thing in the shops later.

I also know what you mean about holding down paid employment and finding the time to sew. I have a sneaky suspicion that bloggers that seem to sew a lot are SAHM's or retired. So something to look forward to in retirement I say!

Donna said...

Hi Antmee, I'm glad this helps! I definitely am a SAHM and that's why I can do so much, but at least I can make it easier to get things done, for those who work outside the home. I also home school all day, which doesn't leave a lot of time left over. It will be great to have more time to do more sewing!

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