How To Make a Pattern from a Shirt

Sewing has always been one of the most popular crafts practiced all over the world for centuries.  Nowadays the importance of sewing has been minimized, since you can readily find off the rack clothes from department stores and boutiques.  Nevertheless, it still holds its place in the top crafts practiced today, and it can come in handy, in the event that you need to repair or modify your clothes or dresses. 

If you are married and have children then learning to sew will certainly have come in handy someday.  If you adore a particular shirt because you just love the way it fits, then creating a pattern from that shirt would be a very good idea, if you want to copy it.

Here are the few things you can do in order to produce a pattern from a shirt.  The tools and materials you would need are:

  •  A piece of foam core
  •  A large tracing paper
  •  Ruler & curve
  •  Pins
  •  Marker/Pencil

Front. Lay the shirt flat on the paper with the front facing you.  See that it is neatly placed with all the edges and seams aligned.  Make sure that the shirt is placed in a straight position, having the grain reasonably straight and that the seams can be clearly seen.  Having done this, you may now pin the shirt on to the foam so that it can be secure enough to trace. Now you can trace all around the edges with pin holes.  By making small puncture holes at regular intervals you will be marking the under paper where the seam line should be.

Remove the shirt and trace and connect all the dots with a ruler and curve.  When ready, check your work making, sure that the lines connect, the corners are sharp and the curves look good.

Back. Next, place a pin at the back yoke to mark its center. Now place the shirt having the front facing down and the back facing you. Repeat the steps you went through for the front which are: smoothing the shirt and aligning the seams together, pinning the shirt on to the foam core and marking the under paper with pin holes along the seams. The next step would be to trace along the holes to form the back pattern.

Yoke. The yoke can now be laid flat and ready to be marked.  You first have to find the center of the yoke.  To find this you need to fold the yoke part in half and place a pin at exactly where the fold is. Now place the yoke flat, facing you and pin it to the foam to be secure.  Mark half of the yoke with pin holes, remove and trace these holes to form the yoke pattern.

Collar stand. You must also mark half of the collar stand with a pin and lay flat on the paper.  Mark and trace alongside the seams to form your collar stand pattern.

Collar. The collar is also center-marked with a pin and secured flat on the tracing paper.  As usual you punch pin holes along the edges to mark half of the collar.  Trace and connect these points to form the collar pattern.

Sleeve. This time the paper must to be left flat on the table but folded up in half.  Place the top length of the sleeve exactly onto the paper fold and smooth it down very carefully. In this way you are putting the sleeve fold onto the paper crease.  Mark and trace as usual to form the sleeve pattern. It is important to remember that the sleeve placket goes in the center of the back half.

The patterns you have just created will all make up the shirt you wish to create.  It is vital to remember that you need to add an allowance of half an inch or so, as seam allowances on all pieces when cutting your shirt.


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