How to Make a Pattern From Clothing

    by eHow Contributor

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    How to Make a Pattern From Clothing. You can reproduce a favorite piece of clothing or recreate a vintage dress with a sewing pattern from an existing garment. Follow the steps below to create your pattern.

    Things You'll Need

    • Large paper
    • Soft, firm surface
    • Tracing wheel
    • Pencil
    • Scissors
    • Clear plastic ruler

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    Lay out the garment on a large piece of paper on a soft but firm surface. A cork-covered table is ideal, but since that is not readily available to everyone, try using a corkboard or bulletin board large enough to lay out the garment. A very soft wood will work, but be aware that the tracing wheel will cause holes in and scratch the surface.

    Pin down the garment. Make sure it is flat, pulled tout and wrinkle-free. It is easiest if the garment can be pulled apart at the seams before beginning this, but since that may not be possible, lay the garment flat from seam to seam. Push pins will hold the piece or garment in place.

    Trace each and every seam with the tracing wheel, pushing hard. If the garment requires it, readjust and re-pin the garment so that each piece seamed together is perfectly flat.

    Trace the lines created with the holes with a pencil. At this time take a good look at the lines to make sure they are even, symmetrical and match the shape of the garment. This should be pretty evident to a seasoned sewer.

    Add seam allowance to each line created using a clear plastic ruler. This is a personal choice. Seam allowance is usually 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch or 1/4 inch. For length seam, such as pant legs or bottom of a skirt, it may be wise to leave more seam allowance.

    Cut out the pattern. Make sure to label what it is a pattern for, the size, and the amount of seam allowance.