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.

Step 1: 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.


<p>I was looking to make a version of the Sixth Doctor's coat from Doctor Who, and from somebody with very, very little sewing experience, this tutorial made this project infinitely easier. I was able to use an existing dress to make the pattern. Thank you! </p>
Hello Teresa, <br><br>I am glad this was helpful to you. Getting close enough to the proper fit so that fitting requires only minor alterations saves a lot of time. I hope that you continue to sew it is a wonderful skill. <br><br>Thanks for sharing your results. <br><br>Lorinda
Is there anyone or a company that can copy a garment
How to i trace a dress pattern with busy darts and a facing from an already constructed dress?
<p>Hi Frances, </p><p>Thanks for your question. I am guessing by &quot;busy&quot; darts that you mean there is more than one dart. Whether you have one or several darts the principal is the same as the extra steps that I included below for Michelle. What makes darts harder is darts are how we add 3D form to a flat piece of fabric. It will be harder to tape the original. If you are able to completely and correctly tape it, the finished taped pattern will more likely resemble the constructed garment. With accurate notations and careful cuts along the dart seams you should be able to lay your taped pattern flat. When the taped pattern lays flat the dart areas will spread out. Where the tape edge is will be your dart seam lines. </p><p>As for the facing you should be able to trace the facing from your pattern, ie, the bodice neck pieces will be like the front and back neck line but only a few inches wide from the neck seam, same for arm hole facings or front facings. Sometimes front facings are just folded over, for that just allow about two inches to fold over on the edge of your fronts. On this set of instructions there is a self facing on the sleeve for a cuff. </p><p>I hope this helps. Be sure to read the additional instructions below about darts. Good Luck. </p><p>Mama Reni</p>
Thank you for this. I have this beautiful Asian inspired dress . That is a little large so now I can make the pattern a little smaller.
<p>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.</p>
<p>You are right, this isn't for every project. It is really only worth the effort if you have a garment that fits great but with no pattern to make a new one. I have had several ready to wear blouses that were more flattering and fit better than expected. In the past, I took them apart to make the pattern. With this method, I can make a pattern from a garment that I still plan to wear. In my early years of sewing, I had my mom, grandma or sisters around to help me fit and adjust patterns. Without their help sewing became very frustrating so using something I already KNEW fit made sewing a lot better experience.</p>
<p>thanks for this great idea, however in the uk we don't have painters tape as such, is it the stuff u use to mask off Windows and edges when you paint? We call this masking tape and it's usually white, or is it something else completely? What is the tape usually used for please</p>
<p>Masking tape and painter's tape are very similar, but painter's tape was developed recently to have less glue on it so that it is easier to remove. It is sold in North America typically in blue, but it is also available in green for a more environmentally friendly version made with more recycled material. Head to your local painter's shop and ask for &quot;low tack painter's tape&quot; (the &quot;tack refers to the tackiness/stickiness of the glue) and they should have it in the UK, it may just be called something else.</p>
<p>I never would have thought of this. It is really fascinating. I have to get some blue tape and fiddle with it. Thanks for the great tutorial. </p>
<p>Using painters tape is pure genius !!!!! I will try this sometime soon !!! Instructions are clear enough for someone who sews clothes, and had no trouble following..... Thanks !!!!!</p>
<p>great idea but how do I apply this to darts &amp; bodice gathers? thanks. J.H.</p>
<p>Hi Michelle,</p><p>For a dart add this set of steps.</p><p>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.</p><p>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.</p><p>3. when you remove the tape from the garment your taped pattern will not be flat because of the dart. </p><p>4. Cut along the dart seam where you either butted the tape at the seam, or drew a line over the dart seam</p><p>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 &quot;V&quot; shape at the end of the dart when you cut your new pattern. </p><p>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. </p>
<p>This is really nicely done. Thanks for sharing this technique!!!</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>This is brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing your hard work and do have a splendorous spring!</p><p>sunshiine</p>
What about seam allowance? I suppose just add a half inch boarder when tracing onto the paper?
<p>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&quot; 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. </p>

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Bio: Life is short. Create lots of pretty and useful things. I spend a lot of time sewing. I sew mostly clothing, including costumes, casual and ... More »
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