Saturday, May 2, 2015

Clone your Clothes

Do you have an item of clothing that you absolutely love and can't part with??   With some knowledge of pattern making and garment construction you can make an exact copy of that item and re-work it to make it even better!

What you will need is some pattern making cardboard or paper,  an awl or tracing wheel a tape measure some weights and other tools you feel that may come in handy.

If you haven't done it before start by tracing something simple like a t-shirt.  What you will need is enough paper to lay your t-shirt on then lay your t-shirt flat in front of you on top of the paper.  You can use weights to keep it down and stop it from moving if that helps.

With a pencil draw around the outside of the t-shirt, start tracing around the side seam down to hem and across to the other side seam, trace shoulders and back neckline. For the front neckline you can measure the difference from back to front neck and then draw it in when you remove the t-shirt.
To trace around the armhole use a tracing wheel or awl to punch through the seams to get the outline of the armhole.  Take away the t-shirt and start to put the lines together.  You'll need to establish the centre front/back to make each side symmetrical. Draw in your front neckline and then start to add your seams.   For a t-shirt I usually add 6mm seam allowance all over as the side seams are usually mock stitched and only require about 6mm.  If you're going to be doing it for yourself you may want to add 1cm seam allowance if you think that 6mm isn't enough.  For the hem add about 2.5cm as the hem is usually cover stitched. To trace sleeve lay sleeve flat and draw around the sleeve and punch through armhole and then add in your seams.

When you finish tracing and adding seam allowances and making symmetrical pattern pieces you should have 3 pattern pieces for a t-shirt, a front pattern, back pattern and sleeve pattern.  To finish the neck you can put binding or a rib bind.

You can now start cutting out your fabric and putting your t-shirt together.  Next time try tracing a simple skirt and just keep going until you are confident enough to try something more complex.