Hmm…I just read back to my last post and realised it has nothing to do with sewing or fashion. Sorry if you got bored! Instead I have something that might interest you. I was making a new pattern for a summer dress today; it was really simple because I was just copying from one of my favourites.
This dress pattern was made the same way. Sometimes there is a piece of clothing that you love wearing so much and wish to replicate it in a different fabric or slightly altered style. This is quite a good way to make it without starting from scratch. I call it a ‘mini tutorial’ because it is really just a collection of photographs, but hopefully it will be helpful.
All you need is:
- Dressmaker’s pattern paper (or other large paper sheet)
- A pin
- Drawing implements, like ruler, pencil and rubber
- Tape measure
First, lay down your paper flat and place your clothing on top. Make sure the garment is as flat as possible and folded halfway if appropiate (it may help to press it). Therefore, the pattern is made ready to place on the fabric fold and cut. To keep the shape, you could pin or put weights on the clothing.
Take your pin and simply prick a series of holes along the seams of the garment. Don’t be afraid to pin through your fabric as it will not show later, and it is important to be as accurate as possible whilst following the seams.
Just pin round one piece at a time, then you are able to add seam allowance to each section before moving on. Luckily, this stripey dress has very few pieces so did not take long to copy! When one piece is done, take away your clothing and see how the paper has tiny holes following the seam lines. Those will be the foundation of your pattern.
Now you should take your drawing implements, tape measure and a little common sense for converting the dots into a pattern. The shape should be mostly down already, but because it is difficult to trace an accurate pattern directly you will need to double check all measurements before drawing the lines in. You should also use your eye to make sure it all looks correct and normal.
Most commercial clothing has shaping of some sort, whether through princess seams or darts. It is easy to follow a curved seam, but darts need a little more thought. Just try to make the piece flat, then measure and add on the dart later. You can see this is what I did below.
Now you can add seam allowance where necessary. My original dress used bias binding along the top seam, but I want to self-line the top and so decided to add a seam instead. You can choose what is most appropiate for your clothing.
Here is your finished piece! Now you can repeat this for the other parts of your garment.
Once you have the top pieces complete, you can make a cute dress by sewing them to a skirt of rectangles. In fact, this is my plan for this strappy summer dress – I will show you when it’s finished ^.^
If anyone uses this method, I’d love to hear from you! It is a good start for someone wanting to make their own dress patterns, but still learning about sewing. Hope you can find it useful!