Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How to copy-cat sew

      Sewing can be tons of fun, however, it can be super exasperating as well. I'm all about simplifying the process, partly because I don't have a lot of free time, and partly because I'm not that smart. One way I make things easier and faster for myself when sewing clothing, is to use a garment I already have as my pattern rather than using a typical paper pattern. I actually have never made anything using a real pattern, but I do plan to learn at some point. Anyway, I saw this idea a while ago somewhere, don't have a clue where, of how to make a pattern off of a piece of clothing. It works super fabulously and its relatively painless. You need to make sure that you use the same type of fabric as the original.
      Grab a piece of parchment paper or freezer paper and lay the garment you plan to copy on top. Lay it on something slightly soft that you can stick pins into, like an ironing board. I used a simple, knit, peasant style, newborn size dress.

      Use the pins to poke holes in the paper along all the seams. Make sure if it has elastic like this dress does, that you stretch it out tight as you poke so you get the true width.

      Do each section of the garment separately. I started with the body of the dress first.

     Once you have a complete outline poked in your paper, draw it out with a marker.

     Make sure you mark where the fold goes on the sleeve.

     Next, cut out your fabric. You'll need to add seam allowances. I used knit fabric just like the original, however, if I were to use cotton, I would need to add enough for an elastic casing and hemming. I did add a bit of extra length to mine.

     Sew the sleeves on to the top first.

     Put right sides together and starting at the end of the sleeve, sew down the sides.

     Since this was knit fabric, instead of hemming it, I lettuce edged the raw edges. (Lettuce edging is just doing a tight zigzag along the edge while stretching out the fabric.)

     Last of all, I sewed elastic thread around the neck and arm holes.

     Here is my version next to the original, store bought one.

      I have to admit, usually when I copy something, I just trace it right onto my fabric and skip all this...however, this way is a whole lot more accurate. This little dress fit the littlest lady perfectly.

      Happy sewing! =)

 "Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty." Psalms 104:1

Linking to:
TaterTots and Jello


  1. Genious! I usually trace with a pen but I love this idea!

  2. Your dress came out beautiful...And love the Pin Poking idea.. : )

  3. ohhhh my goodness I sure do wish I could really sew! It turned out great!

    the miller's
    prezidential life

  4. What a cute idea! I love how it turned out too! Thanks for sharing!

  5. making life a little easier and faster is a good thing. thanks for sharing your tips!

  6. Love this! Thank you for sharing!

  7. wooow very very nice
    thank you so much
    happy ntce day ^_^