How to Copy a Garment that Fits Perfectly Without Taking it Apart

Picture of How to Copy a Garment that Fits Perfectly Without Taking it Apart

A friend asked me if I had tried this method to copy a garment. At first I was pretty skeptical because I have copied garments by taking them apart and by scratching off a pattern from clothing that I did not take apart. Either way there are several steps and accuracy is easier if you have the pieces to lay flat. I was not excited about using tape on a garment I planned to wear again, but 3M's blue painter's tape is made to be less tacky so there is no residue. As it turns out this is probably the easiest way to copy a garment and the bonus is that you can mark your exact seam lines to insure a proper fit. Here is how.

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Step 1: You will need these items

Picture of You will need these items

A clean, fresh pressed garment that fits perfectly.

3M blue painter's tape, I used two sizes the slightly less than an inch wide size and the two inch wide size, you could use wider too, just depends on how much space you need to cover, you don't have to have two sizes, but I will explain in the instructions why it is useful.

Tissue paper, tracing paper or other paper to place on the sticky side of the pattern once completed.

great idea but how do I apply this to darts & bodice gathers? thanks. J.H.

Hi Michelle,

For a dart add this set of steps.

1. tape your garment up to the dart seam line, using a new piece of tape on both sides of that seam line. You may have to tape over the dart seam, in that case see the option in step 2 below.

2. make a mark on the tape where the dart ends. (if you were unable to tape exactly on the seam line as described above, you could also draw a line on the tape at the dart seam line.

3. when you remove the tape from the garment your taped pattern will not be flat because of the dart.

4. Cut along the dart seam where you either butted the tape at the seam, or drew a line over the dart seam

5. with the dart cut open, the pattern will lay flat and the gap left will be the measurement for your dart. Include enough fabric for the side seams and "V" shape at the end of the dart when you cut your new pattern.

Gathers are much harder to explain, that is one of the reasons I chose a pattern without gathers and a princess seam instead of a dart. I don't think I would attempt a taped pattern for something with gathers. You might be able to figure out how much fullness you need for gathers by looking at the grain line.

WideEyes9 months ago

For some things I'm sure this would be brilliant. As a seamstress, however, the idea of doing this to make my slopers just makes my needled heaet go nope. Yes slopers are created similar to this, but you couldn't do this with ever y type of material, garment, etc. Interesting idea though.

craftclarity9 months ago

This is really nicely done. Thanks for sharing this technique!!!

Mama Reni (author)  craftclarity9 months ago

Thanks, I did a test sew this week and it works with minimal adjustments. I did have to adjust the shoulder and sleeve cap. I will post about it later.

sunshiine9 months ago

This is brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing your hard work and do have a splendorous spring!


Dan Ger10 months ago
What about seam allowance? I suppose just add a half inch boarder when tracing onto the paper?
Mama Reni (author)  Dan Ger10 months ago

In the picture with all the pieces, 1st picture in this post, you can see the little bit of tissue paper on each side. This is the seam allowance, it is about 5/8" inch, if you only want half an inch that is the distance you would mark before you cut the extra tissue paper away. Where the tape ends is the seam line.