Sewing is pretty easy to learn, but pattern making is a skill which can take a lifetime to master. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced tailor, making a pattern from scratch is a time consuming and sometimes intimidating endeavor. Rather than spend days making a pattern from scratch, save yourself time and effort by copying clothes you already own!
This is particularly easy with knits and stretch clothing, as fit is forgiving and you don't need 100% accuracy for success. I'm using a cut and sew knit sweater as an example, but any piece of clothing can be copied.
Let me preface that for this project I was going for speed, and therefore did not actually make a paper pattern I can use again. Instead I traced directly onto final fabric and assembled the garment. A little more time spent up front to make a paper pattern would of course save time the next time I did this, but consider this a quick and dirty version of snazzybot's really great Instructable on doing a more precise job of copying a garment, particularly useful if copying a woven garment where accuracy matters.
Ready? Let's go!
- A garment that fits well to copy. It doesn't have to be an exact copy, you can just copy the part you need (for example the sweater I'm copying is a tunic, but I only am copying the top half).
- Fabric of choice for your new garment, and any findings necessary to complete it (zippers, trim, etc)
- Tailors chalk or a chalk pencil
- Sewing machine/basic sewing supplies