Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Making a Pattern From Old Wrecked Clothing

This is a brief "how to" on making patterns from your old much loved clothing! NOTE: As this method requires cutting up then its not suitable for clothes you want to continue wearing. [as if it wasn't obvious when the instruction reads , cut it up!]

The top I decided to use was this one I was given by Rikki's Aunty, I loved the top but after a few wears lil man slammed into me as I was pouring blackcurrant double strength high juice and the stains just wouldn't go. I tried anything! But I loved the top as its the perfect length at the back to wear with leggings and jeggings. 

First of all try on your item, make notes about how the hems are finished and about the construction. Does it have darts? Are their gathers? Whats the closure like? [ It might even be worth taking a picture in it for future reference] Luckily for me this top doesn't have anything complicated so I could crack on. 

Cut into pieces, This top was over-locked so I just cut all the over-locked seams away and was left with four pieces. You can unpick if you want but I find it easier to just trim the seams off as I add my own seam allowances later.

Find the centre of the top by folding it, this way you can cut all your pieces on the fold. I like to pin the two sides together so they don't shift around. Folding your front and back pieces in half means both sides of your top with be symmetrical.

Do the same with the back lay them down on a big sheet of paper and draw around them. I don't tend to buy pattern paper instead I used newspaper, wrapping paper, left over wallpaper or greaseproof paper! Remember to add your pattern markings for grain line and cutting on the fold etc.

Next discard one of the sleeves as you'll only need one to make a pattern from [top tip: make a note of which side is the back of the sleeve for when you come to draw it.] You don't need to fold your sleeve over because very often the front and back of sleeves are slightly different due to ease. Next add a seam allowance to all of your pieces [its your choice here so use whatever seam allowance you  comfortable with]
 I have a seam allowance tool that I was given but you can just measure all the way around with a tape measure and join up the dots. Remember you wont need to add seam allowances to your fold line, just to the areas that will be stitched.

Next I cut out the pattern and sewed up a muslin.

At one point I thought it might be wearable so I added a lil pocket. Now you have made your own pattern you can make whatever tweaks you like with regards to length and fit. For example I'm going to lower the neckline and give myself a lil bit more room in the body so its more blousey.

I completely jacked up the bias bound neckline by pulling it too tight, In fact I may draft a facing for a cleaner finish.

But all in all I'm pretty pleased!

Do you have any tips for making patterns from old clothes?

Much Love




  1. A pattern maker too! You have so many talents and where do you find the time for all your lovely crafts? BTW Frankie I don't actually write a blog. I love to read yours though.

    1. Aww thankyou, I don't think this counts as pattern making though! More just stealing of ideas x


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