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.
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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.
Work on a padded work surface. For example, cover cutting mat with an extra length of fabric. Then cover with pattern paper.
Work with the grament's wrong side facing you. It's easy to see stitching lines from the inside of the garment.
Copy the largest piece first—usually the center back piece.
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.
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.
Trace a basic pattern piece. Trace along hemline through the stitching lines.
Add 5/8" seam allowances all around the edges.
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.
Use the French curve to shape armhole—add seam allowance.