Have a favorite blouse? Copy it

We usually start with a paper pattern when sewing clothes. But your closet is also a source of patterns to copy. In this video Nancy shares ten tips for copying ready-made garments using one of her favorite blouses as the pattern.




Shop supplies
Enter the quantity you wish to order of each item. Click on the Add to Cart button at the bottom of the list.

How-to: Nancy's 10 tips for successfully making patterns from clothes in your closet
Is there a special blouse you wish you could have in another color? Make your own pattern pieces following Nancy's tips from the above video.
  1. Work on a padded work surface. For example, cover cutting mat with an extra length of fabric. Then cover with pattern paper.

  2. Work with the grament's wrong side facing you. It's easy to see stitching lines from the inside of the garment.

  3. Copy the largest piece first—usually the center back piece.

  4. Establish center front or center back. Fold garment wrong side out. Stack underarm seams. Pin along the center back fold line. Unpin at underarm seam and flatten out new pattern.

  5. Find the grain line of all of the sections of the original garment by studying the weave of the fabric—e.g. the under collar and facing piece—pin.

  6. Trace a basic pattern piece. Trace along hemline through the stitching lines.

  7. Add 5/8" seam allowances all around the edges.

  8. Allow room for a dart. Draw dart legs before tracing the side seam and the hem. First, measure the depth of the dart; multiply by 2. Measure out this measurement. Move your garment so the dart leg aligns with the second mark on your tissue. Continue to trace.

  9. Use the French curve to shape armhole—add seam allowance.

  10. Mark grainlines on all pattern paper pieces.

Shop all pattern making and fitting supplies

Shop top weight fabrics
5-IN-1 SLIDING GAUGE
# CL9506
Sugg. Retail:$14.49
Yours Today: $11.49
5 tools in one. Measure, mark, and create with this versatile tool designed by Nancy Zieman. This gauge is your go-to tool whether quilting or sewing. Does the work of five tools.
Quantity
FAIRGATE FASHION DESIGNER RULE KIT
# GS15102
Sugg. Retail:$63.50
Yours Today: $59.00
Get everything you need to draft, alter, and fit patterns
Quantity
1 ROLL PATTERN TRACING PAPER
# PP3
Yours Today: $8.99
Trace patterns with ease—keep the original intact
Quantity
Needle Point Tracing Wheel
# NPT10P
Sugg. Retail:$13.00
Yours Today: $8.99
Quickly trace patterns onto pattern paper and easily alter patterns for a great fit with this handy notion.
  • Pinpoint needles quickly punch through paper patterns
  • Easily mark fabric with pen or pencil following the pinpoint perforations
Quantity
100 GLASS HEAD SILK PINS
# GHSP2
Yours Today: $5.75
Unlike pins with plastic heads, these glass heads won't melt
Quantity
COPY IT BOOK
# MMCI
Yours Today: $11.99
Do you have a ready-made garment you just love?
Quantity