If you’re like most of us, you probably have quite a few garments in your wardrobe that you love the fit or style, and wish you could recreate more. We’re going to show you an easy way to draft a pattern from an existing garment using a brand new fabric.
- Fabric for new garment (we used Telio Topaz Hatchi Knit Fuchsia )
- Existing garment
- Tracing paper
- Cutting Mat
- Sewing supplies
Lay your garment on tracing paper over a cutting mat. You can also use pattern material with printed gridlines. Either method will help you draw the dimensions evenly. Smooth out any wrinkles and try to correct any fabric warping. Mark any corners with a pencil outside of the seam allowance.
Use a measuring tape to measure bust, waist and hips or any other important measurement based on the garment being traced. Divide that by 2, and use a pin to poke through the fabric onto the tracing paper for each measurement taken to form half of the front sweater piece. The same line will be the edge for the back pattern piece.
Take your pin and poke through the seam allowance to create a dot-to dot outline of the garment. Use this technique on any seam that the tracing paper isn’t immediately visible to trace directly.
Remove your garment and continue drawing the pattern. Connect the pinhole dots, and trace the outlines accounting for a seam allowance and hem.
Continue to do this for the back piece, and the sleeve piece.
Measure and apply any finishings needed such as cuffs or neck binding. We used the measured knit band method from this knits tutorial.
Tip: The garment will more than likely have some manipulation due to assembly and being worn in high-function areas, such as shoulders. Find the grain of the fabric and manipulate the fabric to follow the grain as needed to acquire appropriate pattern dimensions.
Tip: If the fabric you’re using doesn’t match the characteristics of the garment being copied, account for that by adding or subtracting dimensions to account for stretch percentage. The Telio Topaz Hatchi Knit Fuchsia fabric we used to copy the green sweater has 75% stretch, and the green sweater has a little more than that, so we added ¼” to the seam allowances to account for the different stretches.
Tip: Make notes on each pattern piece like naming it, how many to cut, seam allowance used, fabric recommendations and date created.