Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

Need help making a pattern

ejhuds | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi, this is my first post so I hope I do this correctly.  A friend has asked me to make a new garment for her by using the old garment as a pattern.   The only way I can think of to do this is to let out all the seams and trace around the sections.  Is there an easier and faster way to accomplish this?  TIA. 



  1. Jean | | #1

    Depends on the garment. I copy garments for my grandkids by laying the piece flat and tracing along the seam lines, then adding seam allowance later. Works well for relatively simple patterns. There are a couple of books out on this subject. The one I have is Making Patterns form Finished Clothes by Rusty Bensussen. Maybe your local library can get it for you.

  2. sudjazz | | #2

    This is my first post too so I hope I get this right as well.  Your idea of tracing around an old garment actually works quite well.  I did that to make my husband a pair of trousers.  I took his old pair apart and ironed the pieces very carefully and used them as pattern pieces.  I made sure I had 5/8 seams.  The seams are often trimmed.  The pants fit him perfectly just like his old ones.

    We did the same when we recovered our living room set.  We took the old cover off piece by piece and used the pieces as pattern pieces to make the new cover.  Worked like a charm. 

  3. kjp | | #3

    Remember leaf rubbings in grade school?  You can apply the same principal to trace off the pattern, without taking the whole thing apart if the lines are not too complex.  Then add the seam allowances after.  Just make a test out of muslin first! 

  4. suesew | | #4

    Sometimes simply measuring some of the parts works. If you cannot take it apart you can also lay as much as possible flat, mark the fold with pins and refold to get the rest of it, matching up the pins. For example, you can trace off half a sleeve, mark the fold with pins, flip the sleeve over and match the pins to the prevous pinline and draw the rest of the sleeve. If you can destroy the original, you can also just cut it apart at the seams, trace and add seam allowance.

    1. ejhuds | | #5

      Thank you, suesew, kjp, suziequ and Jean,

      You have given me some great ideas.  I have not seen the garment yet, it is a robe and it could be either simple or complicated...the lady whose it is, had a stroke several months ago.  She is confined to an electric scooter/chair (whatever they are called).  She told me it was her favorite robe, and it got caught in the wheels of her go/chair and ruined it.  Hopefully there will be enough left of it that I can make a similar pattern.  Wish me luck! 

      And thanks again.  I did not know how to reply to ALL, and I just did this to everyone all in one.    ~GranJan  

      1. HeartFire | | #6

        another way of doing this is to spread the garment section out as flat as possible (you may have to do one section of a piece at a time) lay it over paper and then push pins through the seams to mark the paper underneat (I hope I'm making sence here) then you remove the garment and connect the dots from the pins.

        1. edgy | | #7

          Since her old robe was long and caught in the wheels, maybe ask her if she'd like this one shorter. It's so good of you to do this for her -- don't make it harder than it has to be :-)nancy

This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More